BHP production slips in Q3 following planned maintenance

08:03 17/10/2019 - BHP said copper equivalent production fell 3% in the third quarter, following planned maintenance across a number of operations and natural field decline in petroleum.

Copper production fell 3% as record concentrator throughput at its Escondida mine was offset by planned maintenance related to the refinery crane replacement at Olympic Dam, the company said.

Petroleum volumes fell 1% following the impact of Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico and planned maintenance at North West Shelf, though this was partially offset by higher seasonal demand and less maintenance activity at Bass Strait, the company added.

All major projects under development were tracking to plan, with the Ruby oil and gas development in Trinidad and Tobago approved during the September 2019 quarter and the South Flank iron ore project was now 50% complete, BHP said.

Despite the downtick in volumes, guidance remained unchanged, with the company saying it was on track to deliver slightly higher volumes than last financial year.

Looking ahead, the company said that the next drilling phase at Oak Dam in South Australia was expected to commence in November 2019 after the second phase confirmed further high-grade mineralised intercepts of copper, with associated gold, uranium and silver.

At 8:03am: (LON:BHP) share price was -22.3p at 1600.3p

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