Iron ore remains key to BHP

BHP said that production had jumped by nine percent to 187 million tonnes for the year to 30 June, news that analysts have reacted to by claiming it meant that the commodity giants were betting on continued strong demand from China, despite the country's economy seeing a slowdown in growth.

Despite a marked decline in commodity prices over the last year iron ore remains the BHP’s biggest earner, with work to increase its output capacity to 220 million tonnes a year is expected to be finished in December of this year. In the April to June quarter, iron ore output rose 17.7 percent to 47.6 million tonnes compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, copper production at BHP's Escondida mine in Chile also rose by 28% to 1.1 million tonnes. "A strong year of production as two of our major assets, Western Australia Iron Ore and Escondida, exceeded production guidance and annual records were achieved across seven operations and five commodities," the miner said in its report.