BHP Billiton Reports Record-Breaking Production of Seven Raw Materials

Iron ore output jumped 13% while copper increased 10%.

BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, said on July 23 its production of seven raw materials, including copper and iron ore, hit record levels in 2007-2008. "Annual production records (were) achieved in petroleum, copper, iron ore, manganese ore and alloy, alumina and molybdenum," BHP said. "Annual production also increased in crude oil and condensate, uranium, lead, zinc, silver and diamonds."

Iron ore output jumped 13% to 111.3 million tons in 2007-2008, and copper surged 10% to 1.37 million tons, BHP Billiton said.

Overall, production was significantly higher across 13 commodities, with records achieved in seven commodities. "This was achieved in an environment in which supply disruptions and input cost pressures are placing challenges on the industry response to continued strong global demand for commodities," the group said.

For the year, iron ore output rose 13% to 111.3 million tons, copper output rose 10% to 1.37 million tons and petroleum output was up 13% at 129.5 million barrels of oil equivalent.

BHP has launched a hostile takeover move against rival Rio Tinto, currently under scrutiny by the European Union's executive commission. Europe's top antitrust watchdog has said it will rule by November on whether to block the $147 billion takeover or allow BHP Billiton to go ahead with plans to forge an unrivalled global resources giant.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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