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BHP shelves expansion of Olympic Dam mine in Australia; maintains guidance

By BFN News | 08:13 AM | Tuesday 20 October, 2020


Mining giant BHP affirmed its annual output targets but said it had shelved a $2.5 billion expansion of its massive Olympic Dam mine in South Australia. Following brownfield expansion project studies at the Olympic Dam mine, the company flagged challenges for the economics of the project and decided the 'optimal way forward for now is through targeted debottlenecking investments, plant upgrades and modernisation of our infrastructure.' All production and unit cost guidance 'remains unchanged for the 2021 financial year, except for Cerrejon production guidance which is under review due to an ongoing strike,' the company said. Group copper equivalent production increased by 2% in the September 2020 quarter, the company said. Iron ore production fell 1% to 66 million tonnes quarter-on-quarter but was up 8% year-on-year. Petroleum output rise 1% quarter-on-quarter, though slipped 9% year-on-year. 'Record quarterly production at Jimblebar and strong supply chain performance, offset by the impact from planned major car dumper maintenance,' the company said. Copper production slipped 4% to 413.2 million year-on-year, though was inline with the 413 million tonnes seen in the prior quarter as production growth was offset by lower cathode production at its Escondida mine and planned maintenance, the company said. 'Our major projects under development in petroleum, copper and iron ore are tracking well. Atlantis phase 3 achieved first production in July 2020, ahead of schedule and on budget,' BHP said. Commenting on its copper operations in Australia, the company said it was on track for first production from South Flank in the middle of the 2021 calendar year. 'In petroleum, we have entered an agreement to increase our interest in the tier one Shenzi asset while delivering first production from Atlantis Phase 3 ahead of schedule and within budget,' it added. At 8:13am: (LON:BHP) Bhp Group PLC share price was -13.8p at 1600.2p Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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