BHP Billiton has reported a record amount of iron ore production across its mines in Western Australia for the second half of 2016 due to the ramp up of its Jimblebar mine in the Pilbara.
The world's biggest miner produced 136 million tonnes of iron ore at its Western Australian iron ore mines for the six months to the end of December, up 4 per cent from the same time a year ago.
Iron ore production rose 9 per cent over the December quarter to 70 million tonnes. BHP said it received an average price of $US55 a tonne over the December half-year, up 28 per cent from the same time in 2015.Iron ore prices doubled in 2016 amid a jump in Chinese demand, but new supply coming onto the market this year is expected to hurt prices.
The result keeps the miner on track to meet its production forecast for the year of 265 to 275 million tonnes of iron ore. It also maintained its production forecast for petroleum and coal.
Mining and processing at the Samarco mine in Brazil remains suspended following a catastrophic dam collapse in late-2015. BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said a rise in iron ore prices had helped the company's bottom line.