SYDNEY, AAP – Australian miner BHP Group has delivered a massive $US9.4 billion ($13.2 billion) first-half profit partially off the back of its iron ore operations.

The 2021/22 interim result, which excludes the petroleum business being offloaded to Western Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, was up 144 per cent from the same period in 2020/21.

“BHP has a strong first half,” CEO Mike Henry said on Tuesday.

“We mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 and significant adverse weather events to turn in a solid performance, particularly from our flagship Western Australian iron ore business.”

Mr Henry said BHP was well-positioned, barring further potential impacts from the pandemic during the second half.

BHP, which recently ditched its UK listing to unify under its Australian parent company, is anticipating a better economic performance in China – one of its biggest customers.

“We anticipate that the headwinds that buffeted China will diminish as the 2022 calendar (year) proceeds,” it said.

The miner has previously warned about the difficulties thrown up by labour shortages for its Pilbara operations in WA – where the state border remains effectively shut to most travellers – and rising costs.

“We expect cost headwinds due to supply bottlenecks to remain challenging in the 2022 calendar year, with only tentative signs of easing by the end of the period,” it said.

The interim results include an after-tax loss of $US821 million ($1.2 billion) related to a settlement for the damage caused by the 2015 Samarco dam disaster in Brazil that killed 19 people.

BHP has now set aside a provision of $US3.1 billion ($4.4 billion) for the disaster

The miner will pay a dividend of $US1.50 per share for the six months ended December 31, up from $US1.01 previously.