Production report stock image.

BHP has released its 2022-23 Operational Review, highlighting key events and outcomes, and strong results from the fourth quarter. 

There were two fatalities during the year, and BHP has said it is committed to sharing the learnings from these events to prevent further incidents and is committed to increasing safety in its workplaces.

BHP has continued to make strong progress at Oak Dam in South Australia. It has defined an Exploration Target and plans to increase the number of exploration drills from nine to eleven by the end of the 2023 calendar year.

Average realised prices for copper, iron ore and metallurgical coal products were lower in the 2023 financial year compared to the prior year. Nickel prices remained stable, while thermal coal prices were stronger, predominantly in the first half.

Other key results include: 

  • Full year production guidance was achieved for copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal and energy coal
  • Nickel achieved revised guidance and finished in line with the lower end of original guidance
  • Annual production records at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) of 285Mt (100 per cent basis), Spence of 240kt, and Olympic Dam for both copper of 212kt and refined gold of 186 troy koz
  • Full year unit cost guidance is expected to be achieved at Escondida, WAIO and New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC), BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is expected to be marginally above its revised guidance range
  • Completion of the acquisition of OZ Minerals on 2 May 2023
  • In Australia, BHP released its sixth Reconciliation Action Plan, which was awarded Elevate status

BHP CEO, Mike Henry, said the financial year was marked by the deaths of Jody Byrne and Nathan Scholz. 

“These tragic events underscore the absolute importance of safety and we are resolute in our commitment to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries at BHP.

Mr Henry said that BHP finished the year with a strong fourth quarter, increasing annual production across the board and achieving annual records at WAIO, Olympic Dam and Spence. 

“WAIO shipped record volumes on the back of productivity in its supply chain, rail network and car dumpers, while South Flank completed its deployment of autonomous haul trucks in May and is on track to ramp up to full production in the next 12 months,” Mr Henry said. 

“Olympic Dam’s improved reliability and productivity delivered record annual output in copper, gold and silver, and the integration of OZ Minerals into our South Australian copper business is expected to lift production to between 310kt and 340kt in FY24. 

“At Escondida, the team managed through operational challenges to deliver solid production and position the asset to increase output further in FY24. 

“Our Queensland coal operations achieved strong underlying performance including the transition to autonomous fleets at Goonyella Riverside and Daunia, offsetting the impact of significant wet weather.” 

Mr Henry said that inflationary pressures impacted the business during the year, and it remains laser focused on safety and productivity to remain competitive. 

“Competitiveness will be ever more important as we enter the new financial year and at a time when there are new challenges and opportunities to resource development and global economic volatility.”

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