OREANDA-NEWS. April 22, 2014. BHP Billiton maintained strong momentum in the nine months ended March 2014 with record production achieved for four commodities and at 10 operations.

Strong operating performance throughout the period, the relatively limited impact of the wet season and the continued ramp-up of Jimblebar underpinned record production at Western Australia Iron Ore of 163 million tonnes (100% basis). Full-year production guidance has been raised by a further five million tonnes to 217 million tonnes (100% basis).

Queensland Coal achieved record annualised production of 69 million tonnes (100% basis) in the March 2014 quarter. A sustainable improvement in productivity and the successful ramp-up of Daunia has underpinned an increase in total metallurgical coal production guidance to 43.5 million tonnes for the 2014 financial year.

Petroleum liquids production increased by 16% to 77 million barrels of oil equivalent for the nine months ended March 2014, underpinned by a 71% increase at Onshore US. As a result of the successful divestment of Liverpool Bay and well remediation activities in the Hawkville that are now complete, total petroleum production for the 2014 financial year is expected to be approximately 245 million barrels of oil equivalent. The overall reduction in full-year guidance has been mitigated by an increased contribution from higher-margin crude and condensate.

Full-year copper production guidance remains unchanged at 1.7 million tonnes, with a strong June 2014 quarter anticipated.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, said: “Our productivity agenda continues to deliver outstanding results, underpinning a 10 percent 1 increase in production so far this year. Having achieved record iron ore and metallurgical coal production during the first nine months of this year, we have raised full-year guidance for both commodities. The strong contribution from our high-margin Gulf of Mexico operations and the predictability of Escondida’s performance is also pleasing. We continue to expect cumulative production growth of 16 per cent 1 over the two years to the end of the 2015 financial year.