BHP Q2 iron ore production lifts

Major miner's second-quarter production falls short of analyst expectations but increases compared with prior corresponding period.

BHP Billiton's (BHP) second-quarter iron ore production was slightly lower than analysts expected, but lifted compared to the previous corresponding period.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, BHP said its December quarter iron ore production was 48.9 million tonnes, a 16% lift on the 42.2 million tonnes in the previous corresponding period.

Bloomberg analysts expected BHP's share of second-quarter iron ore production would rise to 49.4 million tonnes.

The miner maintained full-year production guidance for its iron ore, petroleum, copper and coal businesses.

Chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie said iron ore and metallurgical coal were particularly strong and "are very well positioned to achieve guidance, notwithstanding the general uncertainty that exists as we enter the wet season".

"During the period, six of our major projects delivered first production and our 10 remaining projects, which are largely low risk, brownfield expansions, are tracking to plan," Mr Mackenzie said.

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