BHP cuts coal production

BHP Billiton says it will cut its coal production because of challenging conditions and has flagged that its financial figures in February will be impacted by exceptional items related to US president Donald Trump’s tax cuts and the state of conveyors at the Escondida copper mine in Chile. 

In its operational update released to the market, BHP Billiton said metallurgical coal production had decreased 4 per cent and the company was now expected to ship between 41 million and 43 million tonnes in fiscal 2018.

Queensland coal production was lower because of roof conditions at Broadmeadow and wet weather at Blackwater creating geotechnical issues.

It said the figures are expected to include impairment charges, predominately related to conveyors at Escondida. These will be in a range of between US$250 million to US$350 million.

With changes in the US tax law, BHP said it was now working through the financial impacts of the tax reform. This will include a non-cash revaluation of the Group’s US net deferred tax assets. 

This will create an exceptional item in the February results.

However, the company said US profits will be positively affected by the lower tax rate.


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