BHP released its half year results on 21 February 2023 at 8.30am (AEDT). Mike Henry, Chief Executive Officer, and David Lamont, Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the Company’s operating and financial performance.
BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:
“Jody Byrne, a rail yard technician in our team at Port Hedland in Western Australia, was fatally injured in a shunting incident on Tuesday, 7 February. Jody was a respected and valued member of our company since 2013. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues, and we are supporting them in any way we can at this difficult time. Investigations into the incident are underway, and we will act on the findings.
“BHP has today announced a strong first half dividend of  US cents per share, on the back of solid operating performance. During the half, we delivered well on the production front, with Western Australia Iron Ore posting another record half. BHP remains the lowest cost major iron ore producer globally. We continued to make strong progress on executing our strategy, including the development of growth options.
“Significant wet weather in our coal assets impacted production and unit costs, as did challenges in securing sufficient labour. Inventory movements during the half contributed to costs, including the planned draw-down at Olympic Dam after inventory built up during the smelter refurbishment last year. We expect these factors to abate in the second half and for unit costs to fall, in line with revised guidance.
“Jansen Stage 1 in Canada is on track for first potash production in late calendar year 2026, and we have accelerated Stage 2 studies. In Western Australia, we are progressing studies to develop options to lift iron ore production to 330 million tonnes per year, supported by our industry leading cost position.
“We are seeing ongoing positive exploration results from Oak Dam, which provides growth potential for our copper business in South Australia. Our offer for OZ Minerals received unanimous support from their Board ahead of consideration by their shareholders.
“We are positive about the demand outlook in the second half of FY23 and into FY24, with strengthening activity in China on the back of recent policy decisions the major driver. We expect domestic demand in China and India to provide stabilising counterweights to the ongoing slowdown in global trade and in the economies of the US, Japan and Europe. The long-term outlook for our commodities remains strong given population growth, rising living standards and the metals intensity of the energy transition, including for steel making raw materials.”