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Improved BHP Billiton iron ore exports

An ore train moving
out at BHP Billiton’s
Pilbara project in
West Australia
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 January 2009 – It appears that exports of iron ore from the Australian Pilbara project of the world’s largest mining company – BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) – may have ended 2008 on a higher note than expected.

In a report from its Sydney base, “The Australian” expressed the opinion that Pilbara iron exports might have dropped by less than originally expected, but did not quote any source for the statement.

In November last year, BHP said that annual sales would probably fall 6 million metric tonnes from a target of 130 million tonnes, because of a slump in Chinese demand, the newspaper reported. Now “The Australian” says the mining company may miss its target by only 1 million or 2 million tonnes.

The number of ships that left BHP wharves in Port Hedland through to 30 December was 58, with four still in port, according to Port Hedland harbour statistics.

Should those four ships have left before 1 January 2009, then exports of iron ore from the port would have been higher than the previous month, the paper estimated. The company had 59 shipments leave the port in November and 62 in October.