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BHP Billiton achieves record outputs across 12 operations

BHP Billiton has reported strong operating performance and has delivered a 9% increase in group production, with annual records achieved across 12 operations and four commodities.

“Our focus on productivity has resulted in a significant improvement in operating performance at each of our major businesses this year, with a nine per cent 1 increase in Group production and record output at 12 operations,” said BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie.

Western Australia Iron Ore achieved a fourteenth consecutive annual production record as volumes increased to 225 Mt (100% basis), significantly exceeding initial full-year guidance. “We now expect production of 245 Mt (100% basis) from the Pilbara in the 2015 financial year,” Mackenzie said.

“At Escondida, an increase in mill throughput and concentrator utilisation offset copper grade decline, while our Onshore US business delivered a 73 per cent increase in petroleum liquids production.”

Metallurgical coal production of 45 Mt exceeded full-year guidance as Queensland Coal achieved record production and sales volumes. Copper production increased to 1.7 Mt as an improvement in mill throughput and concentrator utilisation offset grade decline at a number of operations. Furthermore, petroleum production increased by 4% to a record 246 MMboe with an 18% increase in liquids volumes underpinned by significant growth at Onshore US and Atlantis.

Six major projects were completed and another two projects achieved first production, including the Caval Ridge coal mine which was completed ahead of schedule and under budget in the June 2014 quarter.

“We expect to maintain strong momentum and remain on track to generate group production growth of 16 per cent 1 over the two years to the end of the 2015 financial year,” Mackenzie said.

“In Petroleum, we are investing in our highest-return acreage while a broader improvement in productivity is expected to under pin stronger iron ore, copper and metallurgical coal volumes. We will remain focused on value over volume as we prioritise our brownfield development options and consider the next phase of portfolio simplification.”

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