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BHP upbeat on copper despite quarterly decline

BHP Group has reported that copper equivalent production decreased by 3% in the September 2019 quarter largely due to planned maintenance across a number of operations and natural field decline in Petroleum.

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Nonetheless, the company said that copper volumes for the 2020 financial year are expected to be slightly higher than last year, while all production and unit cost guidance (based on exchange rates of A$/US$ 0.70 and US$/CLP 683) remain unchanged for the 2020 financial year.


In the company’s operational review for the quarter ended 30 September 2019, BHP said that all major projects under development are tracking to plan, with the Ruby oil and gas development in Trinidad and Tobago approved during the September 2019 quarter.


In Petroleum, the Trion 3-DEL appraisal well in Mexico encountered oil in the reservoirs up dip from all previous well intersections. Phase 4 of our deepwater drilling campaign in Trinidad and Tobago was completed, evaluation and development planning studies of the discoveries are ongoing.


The firm said that further high-grade mineralised intercepts of copper, with associated gold, uranium and silver, were confirmed during the second phase of the drilling program at Oak Dam in South Australia. The next drilling phase is expected to commence in November 2019.


Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP, said: “We delivered a solid start to the 2020 financial year through ongoing strong operational performance across our portfolio.


“While Group production for the quarter decreased slightly due to the expected impacts of planned maintenance and natural field decline in Petroleum, guidance remains unchanged, and we are on track to deliver slightly higher volumes than last financial year.


“The South Flank iron ore project is 50% complete, with all our major projects on schedule and budget. We achieved further encouraging exploration results in Petroleum and at the Oak Dam copper prospect.”


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