This Morning in Metals: BHP releases FY 2020 production results

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This morning in metals news: miner BHP posted higher iron ore and copper output totals in FY 2020; miner Anglo American also released its own production results; the National Mining Association praised reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act.

BHP releases FY 2020 production results

Miner BHP reported FY 2020 copper output of 1,724 kt, up 2% year over year. Iron ore production reached 248 million tons, up 4% year over year.

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Metallurgical coal and energy coal production were down 3% and 16%, respectively.

“BHP safely delivered a strong operational performance in the 2020 financial year, achieving record production in a number of our operations, and an improved cost base,” CEO Mike Henry said in the company’s output report. “This performance, achieved in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges, is a result of the outstanding effort of our people and the support of our communities, governments, customers and suppliers. We have sought to support those who rely on BHP through the pandemic with increased hiring, shorter payment terms for small, local and indigenous suppliers, support for contract workers and community funding for health and social services.”

Anglo American releases Q2 2020 output results

In other output news, Anglo American reported its Q2 copper and nickel production increased by 5% and 10%, respectively.

Platinum and palladium production fell by 41% and 34%, respectively.

“Anglo American has shown resilience in addressing the challenges posed by Covid-19, acting quickly to help safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our workforce and host communities,” CEO Mark Cutifani said. “Our comprehensive response supported the continuity of the majority of our operations during varying degrees of lockdown in different jurisdictions, albeit at reduced capacity in many cases.

“Continued strong performances from our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil and the Collahuasi copper operation in Chile helped mitigate our overall decrease in production to 18%, as we also addressed operational issues at our metallurgical coal and PGM operations. Building up from a production level of around 60% of total capacity in April, we continue to increase and had reached about 90% of production capacity by the end of June.”

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NMA praises reforms to NEPA

The National Mining Association (NMA) offered positive feedback with respect to reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“While the U.S. is rich in mineral resources, permitting delays and regulatory uncertainty hamper investment in our domestic resources, increasing our reliance on imports,” the NMA said in a prepared statement. “The U.S. government’s process for securing the necessary mine permits now takes close to 10 years – one of the longest mine permitting processes in the world. By comparison, permitting processes in Australia and Canada, which have similar environmental standards and practices as the U.S., take between two and three years. Permitting delays have been called the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States.”

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