By Rhiannon Hoyle

 

BHP Group on Wednesday said it produced more copper but less iron ore in the first three months of its fiscal year. It also named Australia's Whitehaven as the preferred bidder for two coal mines it owns with Japan's Mitsubishi.

The miner said in February that the joint venture was seeking a buyer for the Daunia and Blackwater mines in Australia's Queensland state.

"BHP confirms that Whitehaven Coal has been selected as the preferred bidder in the divestment process," the miner said.

In a quarterly report, BHP said it produced 63.2 million metric tons of steel-ingredient iron ore in the three months through September, down 3% on the year-earlier period. It cited maintenance and work on its rail infrastructure.

BHP is the world's third-biggest producer of iron ore, with large mining operations in remote northwest Australia.

The company produced 16% less metallurgical coal, also used in steelmaking. Quarterly production of that commodity totaled 5.6 million tons, as BHP undertook planned plant maintenance.

The company, also a major producer of industrial metal copper, said its copper production was up by 11% over the same period to 457,000 tons, underpinned by increased production from its biggest operations. BHP operates and has a majority stake in Chile's Escondida operation, the world's largest producer of copper concentrates and cathodes.

 

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2023 18:08 ET (22:08 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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