Adverse Weather Impacts BHP's Coal Production
BHP Billiton recently reported annual results for 2010-2011 Fiscal Year. Met coal production at BHP Billiton's Queensland operations, which was severely curtailed due to flooding in the region, decreased 13% to 32.7 million metric tons (mt). Quarter to quarter met coal production decreased 28% to 7.9 million mt. The remnant effects of wet weather that persisted for much of the 2011 financial year continued to restrict BHP's Queensland Coal (Australia) business, despite an unrelenting focus on recovery efforts, according to the company. Illawarra Coal (Australia) production was impacted by longwall moves at both Dendrobium and Appin during the June 2011 quarter. A longwall move at West Cliff is scheduled to commence in September 2011.
BHP's energy coal production increased 5% to 69.5 million mt. According to the company, annual production and sales records for Hunter Valley Energy Coal followed the successful commissioning and ramp up of the MAC20 project and utilization of its Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) port capacity. Strong performance at South Africa Coal, which delivered a 13% increase in annual production, was partly offset by planned and unplanned outages at New Mexico Coal (USA) and weather related disruptions at Cerrejon Coal (Colombia).