BHP Group Ltd has posted a 7.2 per cent rise in first-quarter iron ore production, supported by stable demand from China, the world’s top consumer of the steelmaking ingredient.
Major miners have pinned their recovery hopes on an economic rebound by China, backed by Beijing’s commodity-intensive stimulus measures, as the world still grapples with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world’s largest listed miner said it produced 74 million tonnes of Western Australia Iron Ore in the three months ended September 30, up from 69 million tonnes a year earlier and slightly above a UBS estimate of 73.5 million tonnes.
Uncertainty elsewhere, however, remains a concern.
Rival Rio Tinto warned last week that a resurgence in coronavirus cases was putting global economic growth at risk, and that steel production outside China has sharply dropped.
BHP said second-quarter iron ore production will be impacted by work at its Mining Area C and South Flank projects in Western Australia.
It kept full-year forecasts unchanged.
Among other commodities, the company’s metallurgical coal production rose 5 per cent to 10 million tonnes , while energy coal output slid 17 per cent.
The miner said it is “monitoring for any potential impacts from restrictions on coal imports into China”.