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BHP shares slide on half year update
  • Large-cap miner BHP has closed marginally lower after releasing its half year operational update
  • In a year on year comparison, production for the half year ending in December 2019 was lower across petroleum, metallurgical coal, energy coal and nickel
  • In contrast, copper and iron ore production increased by seven per cent and two per cent respectively
  • Despite some decreases, BHP's CEO Mike Henry says the company remains on track to meet production and financial guidances
  • Shares in the company are now trading for $41.20 each

Large-cap miner BHP has closed marginally lower during Tuesday's trade after releasing its half year operational update.

Year on year for the December 2019 half year, petroleum, metallurgical coal, energy coal and nickel production all recorded a decrease.

Looking at the same time period, copper and iron ore production increased by seven per cent and two per cent respectively.

In BHP's release to the Australian market today, it detailed lower gas sales at Bass Strait, Trinidad and Tobago affected petroleum production. Over the half year, 57 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were produced, representing a nine per cent decrease.

Nickel production was affected by maintenance works at the Kwinana refinery and Kalgoorlie smelter in Western Australia. In the half year leading to December 2019

Copper production recorded growth on the back of preparatory work at Olympic Dam, related to a refinery crane replacement. Production for the half year came in at 850,000 tonnes, recording a seven per cent boost.

Overall, BHP's CEO Mike Henry detailed that the mining group performed well, overcoming scheduled upgrades and shortened supplies.

"We delivered solid operational performances across the portfolio in the first half of the 2020 financial year, offsetting the expected impacts of planned maintenance and natural field decline," Mike said.

Despite the year on year production decreases reported in the operational update, BHP said it remains on track to achieve its originally proposed guidances.

Mike outlined, "production and cost guidance is unchanged, and we remain on track to deliver slightly higher production than last year."

Also noted in today's release is the six major projects BHP is developing across the petroleum, copper, iron ore and potash sectors. These projects have a combined budget of $16.6 billion (US$11.4 billion), and a on schedule, according to Mike.

"Our six major development projects are progressing well, and we continue to advance our exploration programs in petroleum and copper," he said.

At Tuesday's market close, BHP's share price is trading for $41.20 per share.


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