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BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:
“BHP delivered safe and reliable production in the third quarter. Our WA iron ore business continues to perform strongly as we navigate the state’s first major COVID-19 wave, and we remain on track to achieve full year volume and cost guidance. Amid record high prices, our Queensland metallurgical coal business delivered strong underlying performance and benefited from better weather in the quarter.
In copper, Spence production is increasing and the Olympic Dam smelter is performing strongly as it returns to full production following planned maintenance. These gains have been more than offset at Escondida by impacts from COVID-19 and public road blockades in Antofagasta, which are reflected in a revision to overall production guidance.
Our Jansen potash project is on track, with good progress on the shafts, in the underground mining systems and at the port. The merger of our petroleum assets with Woodside has progressed and is set for completion in June 2022, while the divestment of our BMC business to Stanmore should complete in May 2022.
Market volatility and inflationary pressures have increased further as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We continue our work to mitigate cost pressures through a sharp focus on operational reliability and cost discipline. While we expect conditions to improve during the course of the 2023 calendar year, we anticipate the skills shortages and overall labour market tightness in Australia and Chile to continue in the period ahead.
Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the tragic events in Ukraine. The BHP Foundation has donated US$5 million to aid the response to the humanitarian crisis.”