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Expanded capacity boosts big miners

THE state’s big miners have announced further production records across a range of commodities. BHP Billiton Ltd has reported iron ore production rose 8 per cent during the year to 98.2 million tonnes, while Rio Tinto’s production of iron ore in the three months to June rose 11 per cent to 37.1mt. And Newcrest Mining Ltd has posted record gold production in the fourth quarter of the 2006-07 financial year, flagging further improvements at its icon Telfer operation in the Pilbara desert. BHP’s annual nickel production was up 7 per cent during the year to 186,500 tonnes, driven by strong performances at all operations, with each achieving near record production and sales. Alumina and aluminium both climbed during the year, up 7 per cent to almost 4.5mt and 2 per cent to more than 1.3mt respectively Newcrest said fourth quarter gold output was 19 per cent higher than the 390,096 ounces produced in the third quarter of 2006-07.

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