BHP to Hike Coal Output by 50%
By Vittorio Hernandez | August 27, 2012 9:35 AM EST
BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) may have shelved expansion plans at the Olympic Dam, but the mining giant is still on an expansion mode in other areas of operations. BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers disclosed on Sunday that the company will boost its coal output in Queensland by 50 per cent by hiking production at 10 per cent for the next two years.
Besides increasing production and output in Queensland, he said BHP targets a similar 50 per cent increase in copper production at its Econdida mine which is a joint venture Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) in Brazil. The hike in production and spending will push through even if China has lower demand and BHP suffered a 35 per cent contraction in annual profit.
For these expansion plans, Mr Kloppers said BHP will spend $22 billion in 2012 spread across 20 project. He hinted that BHP is still committed to the Olympic Dam project at a later date when business conditions are more favourable.
"If you can get any of those variable to change - plus we can make some technological breakthroughs - then we still think this is a wonderful ore body which is going to be a very major mine in due course," he explained.
Due to plummeting commodity prices in the global market, BHP reported last week a yearly profit of $15.42 billion, its first loss in three years prompting analysts to ask if Australia's mining boom has ended.
"The rate of growth in China may have slowed down a bit, (but) China's economy is very definitely still growing, and growing at the highest rate of the major economies in the world," Mr Kloppers said.
"We believe that while the absolute demand growth for products is going to be lower than we've seen in some recent years we still believe there are very attractive opportunities for our company and indeed for Australia," he said.
On Friday, BHP Billiton President for Iron Ore Jimmy Wilson said the Outer Ore project expansion in Western Australia remains part of the miner's long-term strategy, but is not its best option for the moment.
He made the assurance following the announcement on the same day by the WA Minister for Transport and the Port Hedland Port Authority approval for the development of two additional berths in the inner Harbour. However, the berths do not guarantee shipping capacity beyond BHP's current 240 metric tonnes per annum throughput allocation.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kristen Stewart Moving On With Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence Dating Chris Martin – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- A Month After Ukraine Plane Crash, Malaysia Airlines Doubles Commission of Australian Travel Agents to 11% to Boost Seat Sales
- Australia Could Become an Oil Giant After Apache Discovery of Field With Potential of 300 Million Barrels of Black Gold
- European Telcos in Buy-out Mode for American Firms
- Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon August 19, 2014
- Melbourne Is World’s Most Liveable City for 4th Consecutive Year
- Robin Williams Goodbye Video Hoax: Facebook Users Warned of Celebrity Suicide Exploitation
- ISIS Posts Graphic Beheading Video of US Journalist James Foley
- Nexus 6 Release Date Dilemma with Motorola Shamu Details Pointing to Better Smartphone and Killer Features
- After James Foley, ISIL Threatens to Behead Another American Journalist Steven Sotloff
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: AT&T/Sprint Release and When to Hit Your Region
- Motorola Moto X+1 On Release Date To Come With Snapdragon 800 Processor, 2 GB RAM, 4K Recording And 5.2-Inch Display