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BHP Billiton announces strong performance in coal operations in its third quarter results

Oilfield Technology,

The world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, has released its third quarter results with “robust operating performance [underpinning] strong growth in [its] high margin businesses”. Of particular note was the performance at its Queensland Coal operations, where volumes rose by 20% during the quarter as BMA production increased to over 80% of supply chain capacity.

BMA metallurgical coal production

Queensland Coal (Australia) production increased by 20% during the this year’s third quarter as significant latent capacity was released across the supply chain. Production at BMA benefited from a reduction in industrial activity with no significant work stoppages experienced since July 2012.

A ballot on the BMA Enterprise Agreement will be conducted during October 2012.

During the third quarter quarter, BMA announced it would cease production at its Gregory opencast mine following a review of the mine’s profitability.

A planned longwall move at the Appin mine led to lower production at Illawarra Coal (Australia) during the quarter.

BHP Billiton thermal coal production

Production was higher than all comparable periods and reflected strong operating performance across the BHP Billiton Energy Coal portfolio. New South Wales Energy Coal (Australia) achieved record quarterly production following the completion of the RX1 project in the previous quarter, ahead of schedule.

 In addition, the San Juan Coal mine (US) benefited from a full quarter of production following the resumption of longwall mining activity in the second quarter.

Written by Jonathan Rowland.

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