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BHP Group PLC (BHP)

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Wednesday 20 January, 2021

BHP Group PLC

Operational Review Half Year Ended 31 Dec 2020

RNS Number : 2353M
BHP Group PLC
19 January 2021
 

 

Release Time

IMMEDIATE

Date

20 January 2021

Release Number

01/21

BHP OPERATIONAL REVIEW
FOR THE HALF YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2020

Note: All guidance is subject to further potential impacts from COVID-19 during the 2021 financial year.

· We achieved another strong operational performance during the half. Measures to counter the risk from COVID-19 remain in place.

· Record production was achieved at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) and record average concentrator throughput was delivered at Escondida.

· Group copper equivalent production was broadly flat in the December 2020 half year. Strong underlying operational performance offset the impacts of planned maintenance, natural field decline, copper grade decline and adverse weather.

· Production guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged for petroleum and metallurgical coal. Iron ore guidance has increased to between 245 and 255 Mt as a result of the restart of Samarco in December 2020. Copper guidance has been narrowed to between 1,510 and 1,645 kt and reflects strong performance at Escondida. Energy coal guidance has been reduced to between 21 and 23 Mt following a 91-day strike at Cerrejón.

· Full year unit cost guidance(1)(based on exchange rates of AUD/USD 0.70 and USD/CLP 769) remains unchanged for the 2021 financial year.

· Our major projects under development are progressing to plan. The Spence Growth Option achieved first production in December 2020, on schedule and on budget. The Jansen Stage 1 project remains on track for Final Investment Decision in the middle of the 2021 calendar year. South Flank is tracking well and is on schedule for first production in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

· In petroleum, we completed the acquisition of an additional 28% interest in Shenzi, a tier one asset with optionality, on 6 November 2020.

· The financial results for the December 2020 half year are expected to reflect certain items as summarised in the table on page 3 and includes an impairment charge of between US$1.15 billion and US$1.25 billion post tax (exceptional item) in relation to New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) and associated deferred tax assets .  

 

Production

Dec H20

(vs Dec19)

Dec Q20

(vs Sep Q20)

Dec Q20 vs Sep Q20 commentary

Petroleum (MMboe)

50.5
(12%)

23.8
(11%)

Lower volumes due to Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in the Gulf of Mexico and lower seasonal demand at Bass Strait, partially offset by additional Shenzi volumes from 6 November 2020, on completion of the acquisition of an increased working interest.

Copper (kt)

841.3
(5%)

428.1
4%

Higher volumes as a result of quarterly concentrator throughput record at Escondida and planned maintenance at Spence that impacted September 2020 quarter production.

Iron ore (Mt)

128.4
6%

62.4
(6%)

Lower volumes at WAIO reflects planned Mining Area C and South Flank major tie-in activity, weather impacts and a temporary power disruption at Yarnima. Samarco
re-commenced iron ore pellet production in December 2020.

Metallurgical coal (Mt)

19.2
(5%)

9.5
(2%)

Lower volumes at Queensland Coal due to significant wet weather events impacting operations and unplanned maintenance at South Walker Creek.

Energy coal (Mt)

8.2
(30%)

3.6
(23%)

Lower volumes at NSWEC in response to reduced export shipping capacity at Newcastle Port and lower volumes at Cerrejón as a result of a 91-day strike.

Nickel (kt)

46.2
31%

24.0
8%

Higher volumes due to planned maintenance undertaken in the prior period.

1

Summary

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:

"BHP delivered strong safety and operational performance in the first half of the 2021 financial year, including record production at Western Australia Iron Ore and concentrator throughput at Escondida.

Overall group production for the half was in line with previous strong results. We achieved a number of milestones, bringing on new production through the Spence Growth Option in Chile and the safe restart of Samarco in Brazil. In petroleum, we increased our stake in the high-quality Shenzi asset and Atlantis Phase 3 began production ahead of schedule. Coal production was impacted by wet weather in Australia and strike action in Colombia.

Our major development projects in iron ore, petroleum and potash are progressing well. We continue to build on our strong foundations, increasing future-facing options in copper and nickel through exploration, partnerships and acquisitions.

We are well positioned to sustainably grow shareholder and social value as the global economy recovers from the pandemic."

Operational performance

Production and guidance are summarised below.

Note: All guidance is subject to further potential impacts from COVID-19 during the 2021 financial year.

Production

Dec
H20

Dec
Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Previous
FY21
guidance

Current
FY21
guidance

 

Petroleum (MMboe)

 50.5

 23.8

(12%)

(16%)

(11%)

95 - 102

95 - 102

Upper half of range

Escondida (kt)

572.2

287.6

(5%)

(7%)

1%

940 - 1,030

970 - 1,030

Narrowed range

Pampa Norte (kt)

96.8

54.3

(22%)

(10%)

28%

240 - 270

240 - 270

Unchanged

Olympic Dam (kt) 

99.1

47.6

16%

(6%)

(8%)

180 - 205

180 - 205

Unchanged

Antamina (kt)

73.2

38.6

(1%)

7%

12%

120 - 140

120 - 140

Unchanged

Iron ore(i) (Mt)

 128.4

 62.4

6%

3%

(6%)

244 - 253

245 - 255

Samarco
1 - 2 Mt for FY21

WAIO (100% basis) (Mt)

 144.6

 70.4

5%

3%

(5%)

276 - 286

276 - 286

Unchanged

Metallurgical coal (Mt)

 19.2

 9.5

(5%)

(13%)

(2%)

40 - 44

40 - 44

 

Queensland Coal (100% basis) (Mt)

 34.1

 17.1

(5%)

(13%)

0%

71 - 77

71 - 77

Lower half of range

Energy coal (Mt)

 8.2

 3.6

(30%)

(41%)

(23%)

22 - 24

21 - 23

 

NSWEC (Mt)

 6.9

 3.2

(7%)

(14%)

(11%)

15 - 17

15 - 17

Unchanged

Cerrejón (Mt)

 1.4

 0.3

(68%)

(85%)

(67%)

~7

~6

Lowered

Nickel (kt)

 46.2

 24.0

31%

75%

8%

85 - 95

85 - 95

Unchanged

(i)  Iron ore comprises WAIO and Samarco (previous FY21 guidance did not include production for Samarco).

 

2

 

 

 

Summary of disclosures

BHP expects its December 2020 half year financial results to reflect certain items as summarised in the table below. The table does not provide a comprehensive list of all items impacting the period. The financial statements are the subject of ongoing work that will not be finalised until the release of the financial results on 16 February 2021. Accordingly the information is subject to update.

Description

H1 FY21
impact
US$M(i)

Classification(ii)

Gain from optimised settlement outcome for the cancellation of power contracts as part of a shift towards 100 per cent renewable energy at Escondida and Spence

~100

  Other income

Unit costs are expected to be in line with full year guidance (at guidance exchange rates), with Petroleum and Escondida tracking towards the lower end of guidance and Queensland Coal and NSWEC tracking slightly above guidance at H1 FY21

Note: stronger Australian dollar and weaker Chilean peso than guidance rates in the period(iii)

-

 Operating costs

Business development and evaluation expense for Petroleum

106

Development and evaluation expense

Exploration expense (including petroleum and minerals exploration programs)

237

Exploration expense

Premiums paid to acquire multi-currency hybrids following the completion of value accretive repurchase programs in September 2020 and November 2020

~400

 ↑ Net finance costs

The Group's adjusted effective tax rate for H1 FY21 is expected to be within the guidance range of 32 to 37 per cent

-

Taxation expense

Completion of the transaction to acquire an additional 28 per cent working interest in Shenzi

~480

↑ Investing cash outflow

Dividends paid to non-controlling interests

~750

 Financing cash outflow

Commissioning of the Spence desalination plant and capitalisation of the associated lease

~600

Net debt

The Group's net debt target range is US$12 to US$17 billion, with net debt expected to be at the bottom of the range reflecting higher prices and strong operational performance partially offset by a short-term build in working capital and an adverse foreign exchange impact on expenses and capital expenditure

-

Net debt

Impairment charge related to property, plant and equipment at NSWEC, and recoverability of associated tax losses (after tax)

1,150 - 1,250

Exceptional item charge

Costs directly attributable to COVID-19 (after tax)(iv)

200 - 250

Exceptional item charge

Financial impact on BHP Brasil of the Samarco dam failure

Refer footnote(v)

  Exceptional item charge

(i)  Numbers are not tax effected, unless otherwise noted.

(ii)  There will be a corresponding balance sheet, cash flow and/or income statement impact as relevant.

(iii)  Average exchange rates for H1 FY21 of AUD/USD 0.72 (guidance rate AUD/USD 0.70) and USD/CLP 771 (guidance rate USD/CLP 769).

(iv)  Relates to additional costs incurred at our operated assets for the increased provision of health and hygiene services and the impacts of maintaining social distancing requirements. For example, additional accommodation and cleaning costs at the Spence Growth Option project and additional port costs at WAIO due to quarantine restrictions.

(v)  Financial impact is the subject of ongoing work and is not yet finalised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

Major development projects

In December 2020, the Spence Growth Option achieved first production on schedule and on budget. Given this, the Spence Growth Option will not be reported in future Operational Reviews.

At the end of December 2020, BHP had four major projects under development in petroleum, iron ore and potash, with a combined budget of US$8.5 billion over the life of the projects. Our major projects under development are tracking to plan.

On 15 January 2021, the Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) was published for the Resolution Copper Mining (RCM) project, which is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (55 per cent) and BHP (45 per cent), managed by Rio Tinto. The FEIS and subsequent Land Exchange are steps in an independent governmental, social and environmental assessment and licencing process. Any mine construction is expected to be several years away and will be subject to additional regulatory and government approvals and stakeholder consultation, including with the relevant Native American tribes to seek consent.

The Jansen Stage 1 project in Canada is expected to be presented to the BHP Board for Final Investment Decision in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

Average realised prices  

The average realised prices achieved for our major commodities are summarised below.

Average realised prices(i)

Dec H20

Dec H19

Jun H20

FY20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec H20
vs
Jun H20

Dec H20
vs
FY20

Oil (crude and condensate) (US$/bbl)

41.40

60.64

37.51

49.53

(32%)

10%

(16%)

Natural gas (US$/Mscf)(ii)

3.83

4.26

3.76

4.04

(10%)

2%

(5%)

LNG (US$/Mscf)

4.45

7.62

6.87

7.26

(42%)

(35%)

(39%)

Copper (US$/lb)

3.32

2.60

2.39

2.50

28%

39%

33%

Iron ore (US$/wmt, FOB)

103.78

78.30

76.67

77.36

33%

35%

34%

Metallurgical coal (US$/t)

97.61

140.94

121.25

130.97

(31%)

(19%)

(25%)

Hard coking coal (US$/t)(iii)

106.30

154.01

133.51

143.65

(31%)

(20%)

(26%)

Weak coking coal (US$/t)(iii)

73.17

101.06

84.43

92.59

(28%)

(13%)

(21%)

Thermal coal (US$/t)(iv)

44.35

58.55

55.91

57.10

(24%)

(21%)

(22%)

Nickel metal (US$/t)

15,140

15,715

12,459

13,860

(4%)

22%

9%

(i)  Based on provisional, unaudited estimates. Prices exclude sales from equity accounted investments, third party product and internal sales, and represent the weighted average of various sales terms (for example: FOB, CIF and CFR), unless otherwise noted. Includes the impact of provisional pricing and finalisation adjustments.

(ii)  Includes internal sales.

(iii)  Hard coking coal (HCC) refers generally to those metallurgical coals with a Coke Strength after Reaction (CSR) of 35 and above, which includes coals across the spectrum from Premium Coking to Semi Hard Coking coals, while weak coking coal (WCC) refers generally to those metallurgical coals with a CSR below 35.

(iv)  Export sales only; excludes Cerrejón. Includes thermal coal sales from metallurgical coal mines.

The large majority of oil sales were linked to West Texas intermediate (WTI) or Brent based indices, with differentials applied for quality, locational and transportation costs. The large majority of iron ore shipments were linked to index pricing for the month of shipment, with price differentials predominantly a reflection of market fundamentals and product quality. Iron ore sales were based on an average moisture rate of 7.3 per cent. The large majority of metallurgical coal and energy coal exports were linked to index pricing for the month of shipment or sold on the spot market at fixed or index-linked prices, with price differentials reflecting product quality. The majority of copper cathodes sales were linked to index pricing for quotation periods one month after month of shipment, and three to four months after month of shipment for copper concentrates sales with price differentials applied for location and treatment costs.

 

4

At 31 December 2020, the Group had 349 kt of outstanding copper sales that were revalued at a weighted average price of US$3.52 per pound. The final price of these sales will be determined over the remainder of the 2021 financial year. In addition, 304 kt of copper sales from the 2020 financial year were subject to a finalisation adjustment in the current period. The provisional pricing and finalisation adjustments will increase Underlying EBITDA(2) by US$323 million in the 2021 financial year and are included in the average realised copper price in the above table.

Corporate update

BHP expects to recognise an impairment charge of between US$1.15 billion and US$1.25 billion post tax in relation to NSWEC and associated deferred tax assets, resulting in net operating assets of between US$250 million and US$350 million (excluding tax). This reflects current market conditions for Australian thermal coal, the strengthening Australian dollar, changes to the mine plan and updated assessment of the likelihood of recovering tax losses. This will be reported as an exceptional item in the December 2020 half year. The broader carrying value assessment of the Group's assets is ongoing and will be finalised in conjunction with the release of the financial results on 16 February 2021.

During the half year, BHP has successfully reduced gross debt by a total of US$4.1 billion (excluding standard repayments on final maturity). Two multi-currency hybrid repurchase programs were completed (US$1.7 billion on 17 September 2020 and US$1.1 billion on 23 November 2020). The programs were funded from surplus cash, and will reduce future interest costs while also reducing the Group's gross debt balance. The hybrid repurchase programs were strongly value accretive, with this being higher than the premium paid to acquire the hybrids. This premium over book value generated an upfront accounting loss of approximately US$400 million (pre-tax), which will be reported in net finance costs in the December 2020 half year financial results. BHP also redeemed US$1.0 billion of 6.250 per cent hybrid notes on 19 October 2020 and the remaining US$0.3 billion of 6.750 per cent hybrid notes on 30 December 2020. Both redemptions were also completed using surplus cash. BHP remains in a strong liquidity position.

BHP remains committed to supporting the Renova Foundation and its work to progress the remediation and compensatory programs to restore the environment and re-establish communities affected by the Samarco tragedy. Good progress continues to be made with 12th Federal Court of Belo Horizonte in Brazil which is seeking to expedite the remediation process related to the Fundão dam failure. The R$155 billion (approximately US$28 billion) Federal Public Prosecution Office claim remains suspended.

In December 2020, Samarco re-commenced iron ore pellet production as part of a gradual restart of mining and processing operations. BHP has agreed to fund a total of US$765 million in further financial support for the Renova Foundation and Samarco. This comprises US$725 million to fund the Renova Foundation until 31 December 2021, which will be offset against the Group's provision for the Samarco dam failure, and a short-term facility of up to US$40 million(3) to be made available to Samarco until 31 December 2021.

We will provide an update to the ongoing potential financial impacts on BHP Brasil of the Samarco dam failure with the release of the financial results on 16 February 2021. Any financial impacts will continue to be treated as an exceptional item.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

Petroleum

Production

 

Dec H20

Dec Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids (MMboe)

 22

 11

(14%)

(20%)

(7%)

Natural gas (bcf)

 169

 79

(10%)

(11%)

(14%)

Total petroleum production (MMboe)

 50

 24

(12%)

(16%)

(11%)

Petroleum - Total petroleum production decreased by 12 per cent to 50 MMboe. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 95 and 102 MMboe. Volumes are expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range as additional production from Shenzi, following the acquisition of a further 28 per cent working interest, is partially offset by the impacts of significant hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production decreased by 14 per cent to 22 MMboe due to lower demand at Bass Strait and North West Shelf, the impacts of planned tie-in and commissioning activities at Atlantis, and natural field decline across the portfolio. Production was further impacted by lower uptime at our Gulf of Mexico assets due to a more active hurricane season. These impacts were partially offset by the earlier than scheduled achievement of first production from the Atlantis Phase 3 project.

Natural gas production decreased by 10 per cent to 169 bcf, reflecting the planned Ruby shutdowns, a decrease in tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of our Production Sharing Contract, lower domestic gas sales at Bass Strait and North West Shelf, and natural field decline across the portfolio. This decline was partially offset by higher domestic gas sales at Macedon.

The acquisition of an additional 28 per cent working interest in Shenzi was completed on 6 November 2020. This transaction is consistent with our strategy of targeting counter-cyclical acquisitions in high-quality producing or near producing assets and brings BHP's working interest to 72 per cent. This adds approximately 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production (90 per cent oil) as of the transaction closing date of 6 November 2020.

Projects

Project and
ownership

Capital expenditure US$M

Initial production target date

Capacity

Progress

Ruby
(Trinidad & Tobago)
68.46% (operator)

283

CY21

Five production wells tied back into existing operated processing facilities, with capacity to produce up to 16,000 gross barrels of oil per day and 80 million gross standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.

On schedule and budget.
The overall project is 62% complete.

Mad Dog Phase 2
(US Gulf of Mexico)
23.9% (non-operator)

2,154

CY22

New floating production facility with the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day.

On schedule and budget.
The overall project is 86% complete.

The Bass Strait West Barracouta project is on schedule and budget, and is expected to achieve first production in the 2021 calendar year.

In December 2020, BHP and the North West Shelf joint venture partners executed fully-termed Gas Processing Agreements for processing third-party gas from Pluto and Waitsia projects through the North West Shelf facilities.

 

 

6

 

 

Petroleum exploration

Exploration and appraisal wells drilled during the December 2020 quarter are summarised below.

Well

Location

Target

Formation age

BHP equity

Spud date

Water depth

Total well depth

Status

Broadside-1

Trinidad & Tobago Block 3

Oil

Miocene

65% (BHP Operator)

20 August 2020

2,019 m

7,064 m

Dry hole

          

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Broadside-1 exploration well in the Southern Licence reached the main reservoir on 22 October 2020 and did not encounter hydrocarbons. The well was a dry hole and was plugged and abandoned on 8 November 2020. The results are under evaluation to determine next steps on the Southern Licences. 

In Mexico, we commenced an Ocean Bottom Node seismic acquisition(4) over the Trion field on 9 November 2020, as part of our ongoing evaluation and analysis. The survey was 95 per cent complete as of 31 December 2020 and will be completed in the March 2021 quarter. The results will be incorporated into the current evaluation of the Trion opportunity.

Petroleum exploration expenditure for the December 2020 half year was US$195 million, of which US$181 million was expensed. An approximately US$450 million exploration and appraisal program is being executed for the 2021 financial year.

Copper

Production

 

Dec H20

Dec Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Copper (kt)

 841

 428

(5%)

(6%)

4%

Zinc (t)

 76,307

 41,909

78%

86%

22%

Uranium (t)

 1,819

 945

(4%)

0%

8%

Copper - Total copper production decreased by five per cent to 841 kt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year narrowed to between 1,510 and 1,645 kt from between 1,480 and 1,645 kt.

For the December 2020 half year, our Chilean assets operated with a reduction in their operational workforces of approximately 30 per cent as a result of the comprehensive plan we have implemented for COVID-19. The operating environment across our Chilean assets is expected to remain challenging, with reductions in our workforce forecast to remain substantial during the March 2021 quarter.

Escondida copper production decreased by five per cent to 572 kt with record concentrator throughput of 386 ktpd, enabled by improved maintenance practices, offset by the impact of lower concentrator feed grade and lower cathode production. As a result of the reduced operational workforce and the need to balance mine development and production requirements, concentrator throughput continues to be prioritised over cathode production (approximately 30 kt impact on cathode volumes in the December 2020 half year). Guidance for the 2021 financial year has been narrowed to between 970 and 1,030 kt from between 940 and 1,030 kt. Production is also likely to be affected in the 2022 financial year by reduced material movement in the 2021 financial year. Guidance of an annual average of 1.2 Mt of copper production over the next five years remains unchanged.

 

7

Pampa Norte copper production decreased 22 per cent to 97 kt, largely due to planned maintenance at Spence and the impact of a reduced operational workforce due to COVID-19 preventative measures. The Spence Growth Option achieved first production in December 2020. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 240 and 270 kt, reflecting the reduced operational workforce, the start-up of the Spence Growth Option and expected grade decline of approximately five per cent (previously expected to be approximately seven per cent but updated as a result of mine plan optimisation at Spence).

Olympic Dam copper production increased by 16 per cent to 99 kt, reflecting improved smelter stability and strong underground mine performance. The physical replacement and commissioning of the refinery crane remains on track to be completed in the March 2021 quarter. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 180 and 205 kt. Production in the 2022 financial year is expected to be lower as a result of the major smelter maintenance campaign planned for the first half of the year.

Antamina copper production decreased by one per cent to 73 kt and zinc production increased by 78 per cent to a record 76 kt, reflecting lower copper head grades and higher zinc head grades. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged with copper production of between 120 and 140 kt, and zinc production of between 140 and 160 kt.

Projects

Project and
ownership

Capital expenditure US$M

Initial production target date

Capacity

Progress

Spence Growth Option
(Chile)
100%

 2,460

FY21

New 95 ktpd concentrator is expected to increase payable copper in concentrate production by ~185 ktpa in the first 10 years of operation and extend the mining operations by more than 50 years.

First production achieved in December 2020, on schedule and on budget. 


 

The Spence Growth Option achieved first copper production in December 2020, with first production of molybdenum expected around the middle of the 2021 calendar year following completion of the molybdenum plant. First copper sales are expected during the March 2021 quarter, while ramp up to full production capacity is expected to take approximately 12 months. The commissioning of the desalination plant and capitalisation of the associated US$600 million lease (approximate) also occurred in December 2020.

Iron Ore

Production

 

Dec H20

Dec Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Iron ore production (kt)

128,434

62,394

6%

3%

(6%)

Iron ore - Total iron ore production increased by six per cent to 128 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has increased to between 245 and 255 Mt, reflecting the restart of Samarco in December 2020 (between 1 and 2 Mt).

WAIO production increased by six per cent to a six month record 128 Mt (145 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), reflecting record production at Jimblebar and strong performance across the supply chain, with significant improvements in car dumper productivity and reliability. This was partially offset by weather impacts and the planned Mining Area C and South Flank major tie-in activity. Production in the March 2021 quarter is expected to be impacted by planned Ore Handling Plant maintenance across the mines and continued Mining Area C and South Flank tie-in activity. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 244 and 253 Mt (276 and 286 Mt on a 100 per cent basis).

8

Samarco re-commenced iron ore pellet production in December 2020 after meeting the licencing requirements to restart operations at the Germano complex in Minas Gerais and Ubu complex in Espírito Santo, Brazil. Samarco's operations were suspended following the failure of the Fundão dam on 5 November 2015. Samarco's gradual restart of operations incorporates one concentrator at the Germano complex and a pelletising plant at Ubu, as well as a new system of tailings disposal combining a confined pit and tailings filtering system for dry stacking. Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 1 and 2 Mt. Production capacity of approximately 8 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) is expected once ramped up.

Projects

Project and
ownership

Capital expenditure US$M

Initial production target date

Capacity

Progress

South Flank
(Australia)
85%

3,061

Mid-CY21

Sustaining iron ore mine to replace production from the 80 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) Yandi mine.

On schedule and budget.
The overall project is 90% complete.

Coal

Production

 

Dec H20

Dec Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Metallurgical coal (kt)

 19,212

 9,522

(5%)

(13%)

(2%)

Energy coal (kt)

 8,238

 3,576

(30%)

(41%)

(23%)

Metallurgical coal - Metallurgical coal production decreased by five per cent to 19 Mt (34 Mt on a 100 per cent basis). Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 40 and 44 Mt (71 and 77 Mt on a 100 per cent basis) with a stronger second half performance projected in line with our plans. Volumes are expected to be at the lower half of the guidance range following significant wet weather impacts during the December 2020 quarter. We continue to monitor for any potential impacts on volumes from restrictions on coal imports into China.

At Queensland Coal, volumes were lower as a result of planned wash plant maintenance at Saraji and Caval Ridge and significant wet weather impacts from La Niña across most operations. South Walker Creek production decreased largely due to higher strip ratios and lower yields. Poitrel was also impacted by lower yields during the period.

Energy coal - Energy coal production decreased by 30 per cent to 8 Mt. Following a strike at Cerrejón, guidance for the 2021 financial year has been reduced to between 21 and 23 Mt from between 22 and 24 Mt.

NSWEC production decreased by seven per cent to 6.9 Mt. This decrease reflects significant weather impacts and higher strip ratios, as well as lower volumes due to an increased proportion of washed coal in response to reduced port capacity, following damage to a shiploader at the Newcastle port in November 2020, and widening price quality differentials. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 15 and 17 Mt.

Cerrejón production decreased by 68 per cent to 1.4 Mt due to a 91-day strike that started on 31 August 2020. During the period, Cerrejón successfully completed negotiations with Sintracarbón and signed a new Collective Labor Agreement, effective from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2023. Operations restarted in the first week of December 2020 and are continuing to ramp up. The impact of the strike was 1.5 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has been reduced to approximately 6 Mt from 7 Mt.

 

 

9

 

Other

Nickel production

 

Dec H20

Dec Q20

Dec H20
vs
Dec H19

Dec Q20
vs
Dec Q19

Dec Q20
vs
Sep Q20

Nickel (kt)

 46.2

 24.0

31%

75%

8%

Nickel - Nickel West production increased by 31 per cent to 46 kt reflecting strong performance from the new mines and improved operational stability following major quadrennial maintenance shutdowns in the prior period. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 85 and 95 kt.

Potash project

Project and
ownership

Investment
US$M

Scope

Progress

Jansen Potash
(Canada)
100%

2,972

Investment to finish the excavation and lining of the production and service shafts, and to continue the installation of essential surface infrastructure and utilities.

The project is 89% complete.

Minerals exploration

Minerals exploration expenditure for the December 2020 half year was US$86 million, of which US$56 million was expensed. Greenfield minerals exploration is predominantly focused on advancing copper targets within Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Australia and the south-west United States.

At Oak Dam in South Australia, following a successful third phase of drilling, the exploration project has been transferred to the Minerals Australia Planning and Technical team for assessment, and next stage resource definition drilling to inform future design is expected to commence around the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

During the half year, we added to our early stage optionality in future facing commodities with a signed agreement with Midland Exploration to undertake a nickel exploration alliance in north-eastern Quebec (August 2020), the completion of the acquisition of the nickel Honeymoon Well tenements and a 50 per cent interest in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration joint ventures (September 2020) and an Option Agreement with Encounter Resources covering the 4,500 km2 prospective Elliott Copper Project in the Northern Territory (September 2020).

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

Variance analysis relates to the relative performance of BHP and/or its operations during the December 2020 half year compared with the December 2019 half year, unless otherwise noted. Production volumes, sales volumes and capital and exploration expenditure from subsidiaries are reported on a 100 per cent basis; production and sales volumes from equity accounted investments and other operations are reported on a proportionate consolidation basis. Numbers presented may not add up precisely to the totals provided due to rounding. Copper equivalent production based on 2020 financial year average realised prices.

 

The following footnotes apply to this Operational Review:

(1)  2021 financial year unit cost guidance: Petroleum US$11-12/boe, Escondida US$1.00-1.25/lb, WAIO US$13-14/t and Queensland Coal US$69-75/t; based on exchange rates of AUD/USD 0.70 and USD/CLP 769.

(2)  Underlying EBITDA is used to help assess current operational profitability excluding the impacts of sunk costs (i.e. depreciation from initial investment). Underlying EBITDA is earnings before net finance costs, depreciation, amortisation and impairments, taxation expense, discontinued operations and exceptional items. Underlying EBITDA includes BHP's share of profit/(loss) from investments accounted for using the equity method including net finance costs, depreciation, amortisation and impairments and taxation expense/(benefit).

(3)  Short-term facility of up to US$40 million includes US$4 million related to the decommissioning of the Germano dam which will be offset against the Group's provision.

(4)  Permit: EIA - ASEA/UGI/DGGEERNCM/0122/2018, expediente 28TM2018X0042. CNH Revised Appraisal Plan Approval - Resolucion CNH.14.001/2020.

 

The following abbreviations may have been used throughout this report: barrels (bbl); billion cubic feet (bcf); cost and freight (CFR); cost, insurance and freight (CIF); dry metric tonne unit (dmtu); free on board (FOB); grams per tonne (g/t); kilograms per tonne (kg/t); kilometre (km); metre (m); million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe); million barrels of oil per day (MMbpd);  million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d); million tonnes (Mt); million tonnes per annum (Mtpa); ounces (oz); pounds (lb); thousand barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe); thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (Mboe/d); thousand ounces (koz); thousand standard cubic feet (Mscf); thousand tonnes (kt); thousand tonnes per annum (ktpa); thousand tonnes per day (ktpd); tonnes (t); and wet metric tonnes (wmt).

In this release, the terms 'BHP', the 'Group', 'BHP Group', 'we', 'us', 'our' and ourselves' are used to refer to BHP Group Limited, BHP Group plc and, except where the context otherwise requires, their respective subsidiaries as defined in note 29 'Subsidiaries' in section 5.1 of BHP's 30 June 2020 Annual Report and Form 20-F. Those terms do not include non-operated assets. Notwithstanding that this release may include production, financial and other information from non-operated assets, non-operated assets are not included in the BHP Group and, as a result, statements regarding our operations, assets and values apply only to our operated assets unless stated otherwise. Our non-operated assets include Antamina, Cerrejón, Samarco, Atlantis, Mad Dog, Bass Strait and North West Shelf. BHP Group cautions against undue reliance on any forward-looking statement or guidance in this release, particularly in light of the current economic climate and significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption arising in connection with COVID-19. These forward looking statements are based on information available as at the date of this release and are not guarantees or predictions of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

Further information on BHP can be found at: bhp.com

 

Authorised for lodgement by:

Geof Stapledon

Acting Group Company Secretary

 

Media Relations

 

Email: [email protected]

 

Investor Relations

 

Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

Australia and Asia

 

Gabrielle Notley

Tel: +61 3 9609 3830  Mobile: +61 411 071 715

 

Europe, Middle East and Africa

 

Neil Burrows

Tel: +44 20 7802 7484  Mobile: +44 7786 661 683

 

Americas

 

Judy Dane

Tel: +1 713 961 8283  Mobile: +1 713 299 5342

 

Australia and Asia

 

Tara Dines

Tel: +61 3 9609 2222  Mobile: +61 499 249 005

 

Europe, Middle East and Africa

 

James Bell

Tel: +44 20 7802 7144  Mobile: +44 7961 636 432

 

Americas

 

Brian Massey

Tel: +1 713 296 7919  Mobile: +1 832 870 7677

 

BHP Group Limited ABN 49 004 028 077

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Registered in Australia

Registered Office: Level 18, 171 Collins Street

Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia

Tel +61 1300 55 4757 Fax +61 3 9609 3015

 

BHP Group plc Registration number 3196209

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Registered in England and Wales

Registered Office: Nova South, 160 Victoria Street

London SW1E 5LBUnited Kingdom

Tel +44 20 7802 4000 Fax +44 20 7802 4111

 

Members of the BHP Group which is

headquartered in Australia

 

Follow us on social media

 

 

 

 

12

 

Production summary

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

BHPinterest

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Petroleum(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petroleum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil, condensate and NGL (Mboe)

 

13,412

11,589

11,355

11,507

10,729

22,236

25,919

Natural gas (bcf)

 

88.7

80.7

89.8

90.9

78.5

169.4

189.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total (Mboe)

 

28,195

25,039

26,322

26,657

23,812

50,469

57,436

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (kt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escondida (3)

57.5%

240.3

220.1

228.5

236.7

236.7

473.4

477.3

Pampa Norte (4)

100.0%

-

-

-

-

0.7

0.7

-

Antamina

33.8%

36.2

32.9

17.8

34.6

38.6

73.2

73.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

276.5

253.0

246.3

271.3

276.0

547.3

551.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cathode (kt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escondida (3)

57.5%

68.4

69.6

65.5

47.9

50.9

98.8

124.3

Pampa Norte (4)

100%

60.0

64.3

54.5

42.5

53.6

96.1

123.9

Olympic Dam

100%

50.5

38.4

47.6

51.5

47.6

99.1

85.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

178.9

172.3

167.6

141.9

152.1

294.0

333.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total copper (kt)

 

455.4

425.3

413.9

413.2

428.1

841.3

884.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antamina

33.8%

383

621

262

690

993

1,683

788

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

383

621

262

690

993

1,683

788

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zinc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antamina

33.8%

22,483

31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

76,307

42,937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

22,483

31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

76,307

42,937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

Production summary

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

BHPinterest

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (troy oz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escondida (3)

57.5%

49,209

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

90,121

98,010

Olympic Dam (refined gold)

100%

35,382

33,235

34,150

36,608

23,837

60,445

78,587

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

84,591

69,225

77,572

78,940

71,626

150,566

176,597

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate
(troy koz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escondida (3)

57.5%

1,798

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

3,207

3,424

Antamina

33.8%

1,173

1,216

626

1,326

1,767

3,093

2,274

Olympic Dam (refined silver)

100%

203

241

295

157

193

350

448

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

3,174

2,847

2,520

3,063

3,587

6,650

6,146

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uranium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic Dam

100%

949

776

1,016

874

945

1,819

1,886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

949

776

1,016

874

945

1,819

1,886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molybdenum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable metal in concentrate (t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antamina

33.8%

527

491

243

284

192

476

932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

527

491

243

284

192

476

932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Ore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Ore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production (kt) (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newman

85%

15,766

16,449

17,110

16,410

17,637

34,047

32,082

Area C Joint Venture

85%

12,727

12,179

13,973

11,889

11,567

23,456

25,347

Yandi Joint Venture

85%

14,857

17,491

19,087

17,666

16,413

34,079

32,684

Jimblebar (6)

85%

17,045

13,911

16,559

20,075

16,740

36,815

31,284

Wheelarra

85%

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

Samarco

50%

-

-

-

-

37

37

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

60,395

60,030

66,729

66,040

62,394

128,434

121,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

Production summary

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

BHPinterest

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Coal 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metallurgical coal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production (kt)(7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMA

50%

8,723

6,869

9,078

7,365

7,539

14,904

15,628

BHP Mitsui Coal (8)

80%

2,201

2,353

2,536

2,325

1,983

4,308

4,654

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

10,924

9,222

11,614

9,690

9,522

19,212

20,282

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy coal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production (kt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSW Energy Coal

100%

3,763

3,810

4,887

3,624

3,229

6,853

7,355

Cerrejón

33.3%

2,315

1,978

767

1,038

347

1,385

4,370

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

6,078

5,788

5,654

4,662

3,576

8,238

11,725

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saleable production (kt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel West (9)

100%

13.7

20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

46.2

35.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

13.7

20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

46.2

35.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saleable production (t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel West

100%

120

132

312

238

236

474

331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

120

132

312

238

236

474

331

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)  LPG and ethane are reported as natural gas liquids (NGL). Product-specific conversions are made and NGL is reported in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Total boe conversions are based on 6 bcf of natural gas equals 1,000 Mboe.

(2)   Metal production is reported on the basis of payable metal.

(3)   Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 57.5%.

(4)  Includes Cerro Colorado and Spence.

(5)  Iron ore production is reported on a wet tonnes basis.

(6)   Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 85%.

(7)   Metallurgical coal production is reported on the basis of saleable product. Production figures include some thermal coal.

(8)  Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 80%.

(9)  Production restated to include other nickel by-products.

 

Throughout this report figures in italics indicate that this figure has been adjusted since it was previously reported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

Production and sales report

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Petroleum (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bass Strait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

1,427

926

1,231

1,305

1,003

2,308

2,836

NGL

(Mboe)

1,405

958

1,493

1,660

1,057

2,717

3,215

Natural gas

(bcf)

27.8

18.4

28.1

34.1

23.4

57.5

64.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

7,465

4,957

7,408

8,648

5,960

14,608

16,784

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North West Shelf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

1,376

1,266

1,260

1,215

1,180

2,395

2,713

NGL

(Mboe)

200

191

203

162

165

327

402

Natural gas

(bcf)

32.9

35.0

35.2

29.6

30.4

60.0

65.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

7,059

7,287

7,334

6,310

6,412

12,722

13,948

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pyrenees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

934

917

971

837

826

1,663

1,913

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

934

917

971

837

826

1,663

1,913

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Australia (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

1

1

1

1

1

2

9

Natural gas

(bcf)

11.4

11.2

11.9

12.7

12.6

25.3

23.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

1,901

1,874

1,987

2,118

2,101

4,219

3,909

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlantis (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

3,525

2,769

2,223

2,421

2,385

4,806

6,284

NGL

(Mboe)

245

178

54

154

147

301

437

Natural gas

(bcf)

1.8

1.3

1.1

1.2

1.1

2.3

3.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

4,070

3,170

2,456

2,775

2,715

5,490

7,254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Dog(3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

1,202

1,272

1,297

1,211

930

2,141

2,298

NGL

(Mboe)

52

55

33

48

38

86

101

Natural gas

(bcf)

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.3

0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

1,287

1,355

1,374

1,292

985

2,277

2,466

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shenzi(3) (4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

1,671

1,645

1,584

1,395

1,764

3,159

3,016

NGL

(Mboe)

94

94

40

71

87

158

164

Natural gas

(bcf)

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.6

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

1,815

1,791

1,686

1,516

1,901

3,417

3,263

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinidad/Tobago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

166

97

72

102

96

198

341

Natural gas

(bcf)

14.2

14.0

12.8

12.8

10.5

23.3

32.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

2,533

2,427

2,201

2,235

1,846

4,081

5,691

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Americas(3) (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

230

344

198

212

190

402

415

NGL

(Mboe)

4

22

5

2

11

13

6

Natural gas

(bcf)

0.1

0.3

-

-

0.1

0.1

0.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

251

412

209

214

218

432

438

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

Production and sales report

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Algeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

880

854

690

711

849

1,560

1,769

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

880

854

690

711

849

1,560

1,769

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petroleum (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

11,412

10,091

9,527

9,410

9,224

18,634

21,594

NGL

(Mboe)

2,000

1,498

1,828

2,097

1,505

3,602

4,325

Natural gas

(bcf)

88.7

80.7

89.8

90.9

78.5

169.4

189.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

(Mboe)

28,195

25,039

26,322

26,657

23,812

50,469

57,436

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

(1)  Total boe conversions are based on 6 bcf of natural gas equals 1,000 Mboe. Negative production figures represent finalisation adjustments.

(2)   Other Australia includes Minerva and Macedon. Minerva ceased production in September 2019.

(3)  Gulf of Mexico volumes are net of royalties.

(4)  BHP completed the acquisition of an additional 28% working interest in Shenzi on 6 November 2020, taking its total working interest to 78%.

(5)  Other Americas includes Neptune, Genesis and Overriding Royalty Interest.

 

Copper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metals production is payable metal unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escondida, Chile(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material mined

(kt)

100,057

107,268

75,062

83,357

97,274

180,631

201,083

Sulphide ore milled

(kt)

33,659

33,440

34,755

34,733

36,303

71,036

67,615

Average concentrator head grade

(%)

0.87%

0.82%

0.81%

0.85%

0.83%

0.84%

0.86%

Production ex mill

(kt)

246.1

230.0

236.8

243.9

246.1

490.0

491.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

240.3

220.1

228.5

236.7

236.7

473.4

477.3

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

68.4

69.6

65.5

47.9

50.9

98.8

124.3

 - Oxide leach

(kt)

28.3

29.3

26.8

15.3

18.0

33.3

50.2

 - Sulphide leach

(kt)

40.1

40.2

38.7

32.6

32.9

65.5

74.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total copper

(kt)

308.7

289.7

294.0

284.6

287.6

572.2

601.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable gold concentrate

(troy oz)

49,209

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

90,121

98,010

Payable silver concentrate

(troy koz)

1,798

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

3,207

3,424

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

248.3

212.0

221.0

237.1

244.3

481.4

470.5

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

70.6

65.9

72.1

46.5

47.7

94.2

122.9

Payable gold concentrate

(troy oz)

49,209

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

90,121

98,010

Payable silver concentrate

(troy koz)

1,798

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

3,207

3,424

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          

(1)  Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 57.5%.     

 

17

 

 

Production and sales report

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun
2020

Sep
2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Pampa Norte, Chile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cerro Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material mined

(kt)

18,102

18,710

15,734

12,618

6,750

19,368

33,173

Ore milled

(kt)

5,009

4,574

4,553

4,036

3,562

7,598

9,004

Average copper grade

(%)

0.57%

0.54%

0.60%

0.66%

0.58%

0.62%

0.56%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

13.8

20.4

16.9

15.8

15.8

31.6

30.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

15.8

18.3

18.7

14.6

16.6

31.2

30.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material mined

(kt)

23,132

23,304

24,082

18,260

18,485

36,745

44,172

Ore milled (1)

(kt)

5,133

5,191

2,829

4,408

6,809

11,217

10,768

Average copper grade (2)

(%)

0.90%

0.87%

0.95%

1.10%

0.76%

0.89%

0.93%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

-

-

-

-

0.7

0.7

-

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

46.2

43.9

37.6

26.7

37.8

64.5

93.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

44.3

44.8

41.0

24.1

40.9

65.0

91.0

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) December 2020 quarter comprised of preliminary concentrator throughput of 1,207 kt and cathode throughput of 5,602 kt.

(2) December 2020 quarter weighted average of preliminary concentrate grade of 0.43% and cathode grade of 0.83%.

 

Copper (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metals production is payable metal unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antamina, Peru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material mined (100%)

(kt)

63,224

52,872

13,975

45,458

57,029

102,487

122,523

Sulphide ore milled (100%)

(kt)

13,637

12,906

6,736

13,202

14,083

27,285

26,758

Average head grades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 - Copper

(%)

0.96%

0.88%

0.91%

0.94%

0.97%

0.96%

0.97%

 - Zinc

(%)

0.82%

1.09%

1.02%

1.30%

1.30%

1.30%

0.81%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

36.2

32.9

17.8

34.6

38.6

73.2

73.8

Payable zinc

(t)

22,483

31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

76,307

42,937

Payable silver

(troy koz)

1,173

1,216

626

1,326

1,767

3,093

2,274

Payable lead

(t)

383

621

262

690

993

1,683

788

Payable molybdenum

(t)

527

491

243

284

192

476

932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable copper

(kt)

43.6

30.8

18.2

33.8

40.7

74.5

76.7

Payable zinc

(t)

23,808

31,007

11,680

32,769

45,109

77,878

44,004

Payable silver

(troy koz)

1,396

815

581

1,310

1,728

3,038

2,350

Payable lead

(t)

432

151

188

748

945

1,693

1,276

Payable molybdenum

(t)

400

531

223

392

352

744

573

 

18

 

 

Production and sales report

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun
2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Olympic Dam, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material mined (1)

(kt)

2,347

1,920

1,928

2,203

2,379

4,582

4,824

Ore milled

(kt)

2,153

2,178

2,416

2,443

2,377

4,820

4,353

Average copper grade

(%)

2.36%

2.31%

2.17%

2.03%

2.02%

2.03%

2.33%

Average uranium grade

(kg/t)

0.71

0.69

0.60

0.53

0.60

0.56

0.68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper cathode (ER and EW)

(kt)

50.5

38.4

47.6

51.5

47.6

99.1

85.6

Payable uranium

(t)

949

776

1,016

874

945

1,819

1,886

Refined gold

(troy oz)

35,382

33,235

34,150

36,608

23,837

60,445

78,587

Refined silver

(troy koz)

203

241

295

157

193

350

448

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper cathode (ER and EW)

(kt)

49.0

41.4

48.5

49.5

46.6

96.1

81.1

Payable uranium

(t)

638

702

1,293

859

999

1,858

1,416

Refined gold

(troy oz)

36,507

36,956

37,743

36,054

21,390

57,444

76,580

Refined silver

(troy koz)

202

259

270

222

165

387

452

 

(1)  Material mined refers to run of mine ore mined and hoisted.     

 

Iron Ore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron ore production and sales are reported on a wet tonnes basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Australia Iron Ore, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newman

(kt)

15,766

16,449

17,110

16,410

17,637

34,047

32,082

Area C Joint Venture

(kt)

12,727

12,179

13,973

11,889

11,567

23,456

25,347

Yandi Joint Venture

(kt)

14,857

17,491

19,087

17,666

16,413

34,079

32,684

Jimblebar (1)

(kt)

17,045

13,911

16,559

20,075

16,740

36,815

31,284

Wheelarra

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total production

(kt)

60,395

60,030

66,729

66,040

62,357

128,397

121,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total production (100%)

(kt)

68,044

68,168

75,589

74,152

70,407

144,559

137,301

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lump

(kt)

15,982

15,617

17,252

17,056

16,703

33,759

30,767

Fines

(kt)

45,785

44,764

50,904

48,390

46,124

94,514

91,294

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

(kt)

61,767

60,381

68,156

65,446

62,827

128,273

122,061

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total sales (100%)

(kt)

69,481

68,439

77,048

73,355

70,772

144,127

137,772

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

(1)  Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 85%.

 

Samarco, Brazil (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

(kt)

-

-

-

-

37

37

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)  Samarco commenced iron ore pellet production in December 2020 after meeting the licencing requirements to restart operations   at the Germano complex in Minas Gerais and Ubu complex in Espírito Santo, Brazil.

 

19

 

Production and sales report

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun2020

Sep2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Coal  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal production is reported on the basis of saleable product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland Coal, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackwater

(kt)

1,734

1,063

1,703

1,184

1,737

2,921

2,779

Goonyella

(kt)

2,662

1,963

2,651

2,312

2,152

4,464

4,151

Peak Downs

(kt)

1,386

1,339

1,635

1,487

1,213

2,700

2,809

Saraji

(kt)

1,325

1,025

1,399

817

1,043

1,860

2,539

Daunia

(kt)

579

447

588

490

464

954

1,135

Caval Ridge

(kt)

1,037

1,032

1,102

1,075

930

2,005

2,215

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BMA

(kt)

8,723

6,869

9,078

7,365

7,539

14,904

15,628

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BMA (100%)

(kt)

17,446

13,738

18,156

14,730

15,078

29,808

31,256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BHP Mitsui Coal(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Walker Creek

(kt)

1,196

1,577

1,264

1,238

1,118

2,356

2,574

Poitrel

(kt)

1,005

776

1,272

1,087

865

1,952

2,080

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BHP Mitsui Coal

(kt)

2,201

2,353

2,536

2,325

1,983

4,308

4,654

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Queensland Coal

(kt)

10,924

9,222

11,614

9,690

9,522

19,212

20,282

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Queensland Coal (100%)

(kt)

19,647

16,091

20,692

17,055

17,061

34,116

35,910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coking coal

(kt)

7,179

6,417

7,547

6,187

6,531

12,718

13,737

Weak coking coal

(kt)

971

644

1,040

977

936

1,913

1,605

Thermal coal

(kt)

30

224

183

58

3

61

124

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BMA

(kt)

8,180

7,285

8,770

7,222

7,470

14,692

15,466

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BMA (100%)

(kt)

16,360

14,570

17,540

14,444

14,940

29,384

30,932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BHP Mitsui Coal(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coking coal

(kt)

596

667

778

671

604

1,275

1,337

Weak coking coal

(kt)

1,504

1,691

1,756

1,545

1,518

3,063

3,336

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total BHP Mitsui Coal

(kt)

2,100

2,358

2,534

2,216

2,122

4,338

4,673

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Queensland Coal

(kt)

10,280

9,643

11,304

9,438

9,592

19,030

20,139

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Queensland Coal (100%)

(kt)

18,460

16,928

20,074

16,660

17,062

33,722

35,605

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

(1) Production figures include some thermal coal.

(2)   Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 80%.

 

NSW Energy Coal, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

(kt)

3,763

3,810

4,887

3,624

3,229

6,853

7,355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Export thermal coal

(kt)

3,952

3,403

4,871

3,168

3,940

7,108

7,027

Inland thermal coal (1)

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

567

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

(kt)

3,952

3,403

4,871

3,168

3,940

7,108

7,594

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)  The domestic sales contract ended in the September 2019 quarter.     

 

Cerrejón, Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

(kt)

2,315

1,978

767

1,038

347

1,385

4,370

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales thermal coal - export

(kt)

2,261

2,028

1,143

994

370

1,364

4,330

 

20

 

Production and sales report

 

 

 

Quarter ended

Year to date

 

 

Dec2019

Mar2020

Jun
2020

Sep
2020

Dec2020

Dec2020

Dec 2019

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel production is reported on the basis of saleable product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel West, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt Keith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel concentrate

(kt)

31.5

42.8

60.2

64.4

55.7

120.1

75.2

Average nickel grade

(%)

17.3

15.8

16.5

15.8

14.7

15.3

17.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leinster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickel concentrate

(kt)

56.6

57.8

72.0

66.2

72.8

139.0

123.8

Average nickel grade

(%)

8.6

9.8

10.2

9.0

9.5

9.3

9.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saleable production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refined nickel (1) (2)

(kt)

11.1

16.6

20.5

17.3

20.4

37.7

28.5

Intermediates and nickel by-products (1) (3)

(kt)

2.6

4.3

3.4

4.9

3.6

8.5

6.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total nickel (1)

(kt)

13.7

20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

46.2

35.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobalt by-products

(t)

120

132

312

238

236

474

331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refined nickel (1) (2)

(kt)

10.6

16.8

19.7

17.1

20.9

38.0

27.6

Intermediates and nickel by-products (1) (3)

(kt)

2.7

2.9

4.2

4.6

2.6

7.2

8.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total nickel (1)

(kt)

13.3

19.7

23.9

21.7

23.5

45.2

36.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobalt by-products

(t)

131

132

312

238

237

475

343

               

 

(1)  Production and sales restated to include other nickel by-products.

(2)   High quality refined nickel metal, including briquettes and powder.

(3)   Nickel contained in matte and by-product streams.

 

 

  21

 

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