By Stuart Condie

SYDNEY--BHP Group maintained its annual iron-ore production guidance after third-quarter volumes fell by 7% compared with the prior three months.

BHP on Thursday said it produced 61.5 million metric tons of iron ore in the three months through March, up 3% on the same period a year earlier. It cited heavy rainfall, work on its rail infrastructure and a bushfire for the decline in output compared with three months earlier.

BHP, the world's third-biggest producer of iron ore with large mining operations in remote northwest Australia, expects fiscal 2024 iron-ore output of between 254 million and 264.5 million tons.

The company produced 6% more metallurgical coal, also used in steelmaking, than in December quarter. Quarterly production of that commodity totaled 6.0 million tons.

BHP this month completed the sale to Whitehaven Coal of two metallurgical coal mines it had jointly owned with Japan's Mitsubishi.

BHP said quarterly copper production was up 7% at 465,900 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 Stuart Condie at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-17-24 1928ET