Workers at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine.
Workers at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine.

Mining giant’s Bowen Basin sites weather COVID storm

RECORDS were broken at several BHP Bowen Basin mines during the past financial year.

Caval Ridge and Poitrel mines achieved record production levels despite impacts from wet weather and COVID-19.

The company's operational review for the year ending June 30 noted record underground coal was also mined at Broadmeadow mine.

BHP's overall metallurgical coal production was down three per cent to 41Mt as a result of significant weather events in the prior quarter and "geotechnical constraints" at South Walker Creek.

Production is expected to reach between 40 and 44 Mt (71 and 77 Mt on a 100 per cent basis) in the 2021 financial year, based on an expected deterioration in the market outlook due to the impact of COVID-19.

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BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine.
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine.

"With Blackwater (mine) returning to full capacity towards the end of the September 2020 quarter after flooding in the March 2020 quarter, volumes will be weighted to the second half of the financial year," the report noted.

"At Queensland Coal, strong underlying operational performance, including record underground coal mined at Broadmeadow and record annual production at Caval Ridge and Poitrel, was offset by planned major wash plant shutdowns in the first half of the year and significantly higher rainfall during January and February 2020 compared with historical averages."

BHP chief executive Mike Henry said the company had safely delivered strong operational performance over the past financial year.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
BHP chief executive Mike Henry. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

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"This performance, achieved in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges, is a result of the outstanding effort of our people and the support of our communities, governments,

customers and suppliers," Mr Henry said.

"Our diversified portfolio and high quality assets, together with our strong balance sheet, make us resilient to the ongoing uncertainty in the markets for our commodities."


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