Production increased by 18% from the March 2015 quarter, which was affected by wet weather and a longwall move at Crinum. At current mining rates, operations at Crinum are expected to cease in the first quarter of the 2016 calendar year as the mine approaches the end of its economic reserve life.
Production is forecast to decrease in FY 2016 to 40 million mt as a result of the closure of Crinum. Longwall moves at the Broadmeadow and Crinum mines, and wash plant shutdowns at Goonyella and Peak Downs mines were rescheduled for the September 2015 quarter. Production is expected to commence from the 1-million-mt/y Haju mine in Indonesia during FY 2016.
As far as thermal coal, production for FY 2015 decreased 5% to 41 million mt as anticipated. Lower production reflected drought conditions and the need to manage dust emissions at Cerrejón in Colombia, as well as reduced customer demand for its Navajo Coal product in New Mexico.
In July, BHP announced that the sale agreement for the San Juan mine to Westmoreland had been executed. Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to be completed at the end of 2016. BHP’s thermal coal production is forecast to remain broadly unchanged for FY 2016 at 40 million mt.