Record production for BHP

23-01-2008

Record production for BHP
The mining firm BHP Billiton announced today that production levels were "significantly up", indicating a strong commodities market.

Output for oil, natural gas, iron ore, aluminium and copper all reached record levels of output, supported by "strong market conditions".

Iron ore rose the most, with half year output climbing nine per cent from 12 months earlier.

"This, along with four major projects scheduled to commission in the next six months will significantly increase our production," a company statement said.

The world's largest mining company said production was up in 13 commodities, putting its first half net profits at $6.6 billion (£3.3 billion), up from $6.168 billion (£3.084 billion) 12 months ago.

"This performance reinforces our strong track record of project delivery. Our deep inventory of expansion projects underpins further growth," said the update.

Coal production met production difficulties with heavy rains in its Queensland, Australia operations, while nickel production fell by 11 per cent to 82,300 tonnes because of smelter closures.

BHP Billiton has been in takeover talks to buy out rival mining firm Rio Tinto, and has until early February to make a bid, expected to be in the region of about $140 billion (£70 billion).

Rio Tinto has so far rejected the offer.

The price for a share in BHP Billiton has chipped off 0.85 per cent to 1,289p in early trading today.

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