Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 0978W
BHP Group PLC
21 April 2021
 

Release Time

IMMEDIATE

Date

21 April 2021

Release Number

05/21

BHP OPERATIONAL REVIEW
FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED 31 MARCH 2021

Note: All guidance is subject to further potential impacts from COVID-19 during the 2021 financial year.

·    Record production was achieved at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) and record average concentrator throughput was delivered at Escondida.

·    Production guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged for petroleum and iron ore. Copper guidance has increased to between 1,535 kt and 1,660 kt and reflects stronger than expected performance at Escondida. Metallurgical coal guidance has been reduced to between 39 and 41 Mt as a result of significant wet weather impacts during the December 2020 and March 2021 quarters. Energy coal guidance has been reduced to between 18 and 20 Mt as a result of significant weather impacts at New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) and lower than expected volumes at Cerrejón.

·    Full year unit cost guidance(1) (based on exchange rates of AUD/USD 0.70 and USD/CLP 769) remains unchanged for Petroleum and WAIO. Unit costs for Escondida have been lowered to be between US$0.95 and US$1.10(1) per pound, reflecting strong production and lower deferred stripping costs.  Unit costs for Queensland Coal have been increased to be between US$74 and US$78(1) per tonne, reflecting lower expected volumes for the full year. 

·    The Bass Strait West Barracouta gas project achieved first production in April 2021, and is on schedule and budget. Our major projects under development are also progressing to plan. The Ruby project in Trinidad and Tobago is progressing ahead of schedule and on budget, with first production on track for May 2021. South Flank is tracking well with commissioning activities planned for the June 2021 quarter and is on schedule for first production in the middle of the 2021 calendar year. Jansen Stage 1 project remains on track for Final Investment Decision in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

 

Production

 

Mar YTD21

(vs Mar YTD20)

 

Mar Q21

(vs Dec Q20)

 

Mar Q21 vs Dec Q20 commentary

 

Petroleum (MMboe)

75.8
(8%)

25.4
7%

Higher volumes reflect increased Shenzi working interest (following completion of the acquisition in November 2020) and impacts from Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in the Gulf of Mexico in the prior quarter. This was partially offset by lower seasonal demand at Bass Strait.

Copper (kt)

1,232.7
(6%)

391.4
(9%)

Lower volumes primarily as a result of decreased throughput at Escondida, reflecting the impact of a reduced operational workforce due to the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions, and lower concentrator feed grade.

Iron ore (Mt)

188.3
4%

59.9
(4%)

Lower volumes at WAIO reflects weather impacts and planned Ore Handling Plant and stacker maintenance at Newman, partially offset by improved car dumper performance.

Metallurgical coal (Mt)

28.8
(2%)

9.6
1%

Queensland Coal volumes in line with prior quarter as operations continue to be impacted by significant wet weather events.

Energy coal (Mt)

13.0
(26%)

4.8
34%

Higher volumes at Cerrejón as a result of a strike in the prior period, partially offset by lower volumes at NSWEC due to significant wet weather impacts and increased washed coal in response to reduced port capacity following damage to a shiploader at the Newcastle port.

Nickel (kt)

66.6
19%

20.4
(15%)

Lower volumes largely as a result of planned maintenance undertaken at the Kwinana refinery.

Group copper equivalent production was marginally lower over the nine months ended March 2021. Strong underlying operational performance was offset by the impacts of planned maintenance, natural field decline, copper grade decline and adverse weather.

1

 

Summary

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:

"BHP's strong safety and operational performance continued during the quarter, with record year-to-date production at Western Australia Iron Ore, the Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in Queensland and concentrator throughput at Escondida in Chile.

We are reliably executing our major projects, bringing on new supply in copper, petroleum and iron ore. The Spence Growth Option and Samarco are ramping up and West Barracouta, in Petroleum, started production this month. First production from Petroleum's Ruby project is expected in the coming weeks and South Flank, with its higher grade and lump proportion, is on track to begin production in the middle of the year.

BHP continues to deliver on decarbonising, in line with the Paris Agreement goals. We have established emissions reduction partnerships with three major steelmakers in China and Japan whose combined output equates to around 10 per cent of global steel production. In shipping, we have successfully completed an initial trial of marine biofuels, in addition to the tender awarded last year for LNG-powered iron ore vessels. In our own operations, we have established significant renewable power supply agreements for our Kwinana nickel refinery, Queensland Coal operations, and Escondida and Spence copper mines.

With our focus on keeping our people safe, costs down and productivity up, we are well positioned to finish the year strongly and continue delivering the essential products the world needs."

Operational performance

Production and guidance are summarised below.

Note: All guidance is subject to further potential impacts from COVID-19 during the 2021 financial year.

Production

Mar
YTD21

Mar
Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Previous
FY21
guidance

Current
FY21
guidance


Petroleum (MMboe)

 75.8

 25.4

(8%)

1%

7%

95 - 102

95 - 102

Copper (kt)

 1,232.7

 391.4

(6%)

(8%)

(9%)

1,510 - 1,645

1,535 - 1,660

   Escondida (kt)

 821.5

 249.3

(8%)

(14%)

(13%)

970 - 1,030

1,010 - 1,060

   Pampa Norte (kt)  

 148.8

 52.0

(21%)

(19%)

(4%)

240 - 270

225 - 255

   Olympic Dam (kt) 

 154.5

 55.4

25%

44%

16%

180 - 205

180 - 205

   Antamina (kt)

 107.9

 34.7

1%

5%

(10%)

120 - 140

120 - 140

Iron ore(i) (Mt)

 188.3

 59.9

4%

0%

(4%)

245 - 255

245 - 255

   WAIO (100% basis) (Mt)

 211.3

 66.7

3%

(2%)

(5%)

276 - 286

276 - 286

Metallurgical coal (Mt)

 28.8

 9.6

(2%)

4%

1%

40 - 44

39 - 41

   Queensland Coal (100% basis) (Mt)

 51.4

 17.3

(1%)

8%

2%

71 - 77

70 - 73

Energy coal (Mt)

 13.0

 4.8

(26%)

(17%)

34%

21 - 23

18 - 20

   NSWEC (Mt)

 9.8

 3.0

(12%)

(22%)

(8%)

15 - 17

14 - 15

   Cerrejón (Mt)

 3.2

 1.8

(50%)

(9%)

417%

~6

4 - 5

Nickel (kt)

 66.6

 20.4

19%

(2%)

(15%)

85 - 95

85 - 95

(i)     Iron ore comprises WAIO and Samarco.

2

 

 

Major development projects

At the end of March 2021, BHP had four major projects under development in petroleum, iron ore and potash, with a combined budget of US$8.5 billion over the life of the projects. Our major projects under development are tracking to plan.

In March 2021, the US Department of Agriculture directed the US Forest Service to rescind the Resolution Copper Mining (RCM) project's Final Environmental Impact Statement and the draft Record of Decision that were both issued in January 2021. BHP supports RCM's collaboration with the US Forest Service, and its commitment to further consultation with local communities and Native American tribes in an effort to seek consent, as it continues to study the project.

The Jansen Stage 1 project in Canada is expected to be presented to the BHP Board for Final Investment Decision in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

Corporate update

On 9 April 2021, Samarco announced that it filed for judicial reorganisation (JR) with the Commercial Courts of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The request for JR was granted by the Belo Horizonte Justice on 12 April 2021. The JR is a means for Samarco to restructure its financial debts in order to establish a sustainable independent financial position for Samarco to continue to rebuild its operations safely and meet its Renova Foundation obligations. Samarco's filing follows unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a debt restructure with financial creditors and multiple legal actions filed by those creditors which threaten Samarco's operations. Samarco's operations will continue during the JR and restructure process. The JR does not affect Samarco's obligation or commitment to make full redress for the 2015 Fundão dam failure, and it does not impact Renova Foundation's ability to undertake that remediation and compensation.

In February 2021, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a large Japanese steel producer, JFE, to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process. We have agreed to invest up to US$15 million over the five-year partnership.

In March 2021, we also signed a MOU with China's HBIS Group Co., Ltd (HBIS), one of the world's largest steelmakers and one of our major customers of iron ore, with the intention to invest up to US$15 million over three years to jointly study and explore greenhouse gas emissions reduction technologies and pathways. The three-year partnership intends to collaborate on three priority areas: hydrogen-based direct reduction technology, the recycling and reuse of steelmaking slag, and the role of iron ore lump utilisation to help reduce emissions from ironmaking and steelmaking.

The partnerships with JFE and HBIS follow other investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to US$35 million for the collaboration with China's largest steelmaker, China Baowu (November 2020), awarding our first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract (September 2020), with the aim to reduce CO2-e emissions by 30 per cent per voyage and a successfully completed marine biofuel trial which enables us to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support our key shipping routes (April 2021). The advanced biofuel reduces CO2-e emissions by 80 to 90 per cent well-to-exhaust compared with heavy fuel oil (HFO) and very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.

In February 2021, we also executed a 10-year PPA contract with Merredin Solar Farm to supply up to 50 per cent of the Nickel West Kwinana Refinery electricity needs by 2024, based on 2020 financial year levels. This contract will further increase the sustainability of the nickel produced by Nickel West and will help to reduce emissions from electricity at the refinery by up to 50 per cent.

3

Petroleum

Production


Mar YTD21

Mar Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids (MMboe)

 33.8

 11.6

(10%)

0%

8%

Natural gas (bcf)

 252.0

 82.6

(7%)

2%

5%

Total petroleum production (MMboe)

 75.8

 25.4

(8%)

1%

7%

Petroleum - Total petroleum production decreased by eight per cent to 76 MMboe. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 95 and 102 MMboe, with volumes expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range.

Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production decreased by 10 per cent to 34 MMboe reflecting lower demand at Bass Strait and North West Shelf, and production impacts at Atlantis due to planned tie-in and commissioning activities in the first half of the year and unplanned downtime in the March 2021 quarter, as well as natural field decline across the portfolio. Production was further impacted by higher downtime at our Gulf of Mexico assets due to a more active hurricane season in the first half of the year. These impacts were partially offset by the earlier than scheduled achievement of first production from the Atlantis Phase 3 project in the September 2020 quarter and the acquisition of an additional 28 per cent working interest in Shenzi, completed on 6 November 2020.

Natural gas production decreased by seven per cent to 252 bcf, reflecting planned shutdowns at Angostura related to the Ruby tie-in, a decrease in tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of our Production Sharing Contract, lower domestic gas sales at Bass Strait and North West Shelf in the first half of the year, and natural field decline across the portfolio. This decline was partially offset by higher domestic gas sales at Macedon.

Projects

Project and
ownership

Capital expenditure US$M

Initial production target date

Capacity

Progress

Ruby
(Trinidad & Tobago)
68.46% (operator)

283

H1 CY21

Five production wells tied back into existing operated processing facilities, with capacity to produce up to 16,000 gross barrels of oil per day and 80 million gross standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Ahead of schedule and on budget. The overall project is 78% complete.

Mad Dog Phase 2
(US Gulf of Mexico)
23.9% (non-operator)

2,154

Mid-CY22

New floating production facility with the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day.

On schedule and budget.
The overall project is 90% complete.

The Bass Strait West Barracouta project is on schedule and budget, and achieved first production in April 2021.

In March 2021, we successfully completed the drilling of Shenzi North GC608 development well which is within the Wilding discovery, and commenced drilling of the first of two Shenzi infill wells which is expected to be completed in the June 2021 quarter. A second Shenzi infill well is planned to be drilled in the June 2021 quarter. The successful acquisition of an increased working interest in Shenzi in November 2020 realises further value from the continued Shenzi development.

The Mad Dog Phase 2 project achieved a major milestone in April 2021 as the semi-submersible floating production platform, Argos, arrived in the US from South Korea. The platform will undergo final preparatory work and regulatory inspections before being towed offshore for installation. First production from Mad Dog Phase 2 is expected in the middle of the 2022 calendar year.

 

4

Petroleum exploration

No exploration and appraisal wells were drilled during the March 2021 quarter. Petroleum exploration expenditure for nine months ended March 2021 was US$230 million, of which US$211 million was expensed. Our exploration and appraisal program for the 2021 financial year is now expected to be approximately US$400 million (reduced from US$450 million), due to appraisal well phasing through the June 2021 quarter and the September 2021 quarter.

Copper

Production


Mar YTD21

Mar Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Copper (kt)

 1,232.7

 391.4

(6%)

(8%)

(9%)

Zinc (t)

 109,606

 33,299

47%

5%

(21%)

Uranium (t)

 2,653

 834

0%

7%

(12%)

Copper - Total copper production decreased by six per cent to 1,233 kt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year increased to between 1,535 and 1,660 kt from between 1,510 and 1,645 kt.

For the nine months to March 2021, our Chilean assets continued to operate with a substantial reduction in their operational workforces as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. The operating environment across our Chilean assets is expected to become more challenging in the June 2021 quarter, given escalating COVID-19 infections, increased pressures on Chile's health system and border restrictions. Reductions in our on-site workforce are forecast to remain substantial.

Escondida copper production decreased by eight per cent to 821 kt with record concentrator throughput of 378 ktpd achieved offset by the impact of lower concentrator feed grade and lower cathode volumes. Concentrator throughput continues to be prioritised over cathode production as a result of the reduced operational workforce and to prioritise yield of ore. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has been increased to between 1,010 and 1,060 kt from between 970 and 1,030 kt. Production in the 2022 financial year is expected to be broadly in line with the 2021 financial year guidance and reflects a continuation of the impacts of COVID-19 and a need to catch up on mine development due to reduced material movement in the current financial year. Guidance of an annual average of 1.2 Mt of copper production over the next five years remains unchanged, with production expected to be weighted towards the latter years.

On 1 April 2021, Escondida successfully completed negotiations for a new collective agreement that applies to the Intermel Union of Operators and Maintainers (Intermel), effective for 24 months from 1 April 2021. Escondida's collective agreement with Union No1 of Operators and Maintainers expires on 1 August 2021 and negotiations are expected to commence in June 2021. 

Pampa Norte copper production decreased by 21 per cent to 149 kt, largely due to planned maintenance at Spence and the impact of a reduced operational workforce as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has been lowered to between 225 and 255 kt from between 240 and 270 kt, reflecting COVID-19 related impacts on the ramp-up of the Spence Growth Option (SGO). SGO achieved first copper sales, on schedule, in March 2021, following first copper production in December 2020. The ramp-up to full production capacity at SGO is still on track and is expected to take approximately 12 months from first production, following which Spence is expected to average 300 ktpa of production (including cathodes) over the first four years.

Spence's collective agreement with Union for Operators and Maintainers expires on 30 May 2021, with negotiations for a new agreement currently underway.

5

Olympic Dam copper production increased by 25 per cent to 155 kt, reflecting improved smelter performance and stability. Production for the March 2021 quarter was 55 kt, the highest quarterly production rate in five years. The new refinery crane is in the final stages of commissioning. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 180 and 205 kt, with volumes expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range. Production in the 2022 financial year is expected to be lower as a result of the major smelter maintenance campaign planned for the first half of the year.

Antamina copper production increased by one per cent to 108 kt and zinc production increased by 47 per cent to 110 kt, reflecting higher copper and zinc head grades. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged, with copper production expected to be at the upper end of the 120 to 140 kt guidance range, and zinc production of between 140 and 160 kt.

Iron Ore

Production


Mar YTD21

Mar Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Iron ore production (kt)

 188,289

 59,855

4%

0%

(4%)

Iron ore - Total iron ore production increased by four per cent to 188 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 245 and 255 Mt. Volumes are expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range as a result of strong performance at WAIO.

WAIO production increased by three per cent to a nine month record 187 Mt (211 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), reflecting record production at Jimblebar and strong performance across the supply chain, with improved train cycle times and car dumper performance and reliability. This record performance was achieved despite significant weather impacts in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021, and the planned Mining Area C and South Flank major tie-in activity. Commissioning activities for South Flank are expected to commence in the June 2021 quarter. Volumes for the 2021 financial year are expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range of between 244 and 253 Mt (276 and 286 Mt on a 100 per cent basis).

Samarco production was 915 kt, after iron ore pellet production re-commenced at one concentrator in December 2020. Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 1 and 2 Mt (BHP share). Production capacity of approximately 8 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) is expected once operations are gradually ramped up.

Projects

Project and
ownership

Capital expenditure US$M

Initial production target date

Capacity

Progress

South Flank
(Australia)
85%

3,061

Mid-CY21

Sustaining iron ore mine to replace production from the 80 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) Yandi mine.

On schedule and budget.
The overall project is 95% complete.

6

Coal

Production


Mar YTD21

Mar Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Metallurgical coal (kt)

 28,802

 9,590

(2%)

4%

1%

Energy coal (kt)

 13,014

 4,776

(26%)

(17%)

34%

Metallurgical coal - Metallurgical coal production decreased by two per cent to 29 Mt (51 Mt on a 100 per cent basis). Guidance for the 2021 financial year has been reduced to between 39 and 41 Mt (70 and 73 Mt on a 100 per cent basis) from between 40 and 44 Mt (71 and 77 Mt on a 100 per cent basis) as a result of significant wet weather impacts during the December 2020 and March 2021 quarters. We continue to monitor for any potential impacts on volumes from restrictions on coal imports into China.

At Queensland Coal, strong underlying operational performance, including record stripping at BMA and record production at Goonyella, was offset by significant wet weather impacts across most operations and planned wash plant maintenance at Saraji and Caval Ridge in the first half of the year. At South Walker Creek, production decreased despite record truck and shovel stripping in the March 2021 quarter, as a result of higher strip ratios due to ongoing impacts from geotechnical constraints and lower yields.

Energy coal - Energy coal production decreased by 26 per cent to 13 Mt. Following a strike at Cerrejón and prolonged wet weather impacts at NSWEC, guidance for the 2021 financial year has been reduced to between 18 and 20 Mt from between 21 and 23 Mt.

NSWEC production decreased by 12 per cent to 9.8 Mt. This decrease reflects significant weather impacts, with more than double the amount of rainfall year-to-date compared with the same period in the prior year, including the wettest March on record, and higher strip ratios. Lower volumes also reflect an increased proportion of washed coal in response to reduced port capacity (following damage to a shiploader at the Newcastle port in November 2020) and widening price quality differentials. Production guidance for the 2021 financial year has been reduced to between 14 and 15 Mt from between 15 and 17 Mt.

Cerrejón production decreased by 50 per cent to 3.2 Mt largely as a result of a 91-day strike in the first half of the year and subsequent delays to the restart of production, as well as the impact of a reduced operational workforce due to COVID-19 restrictions. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has now been reduced to between 4 and 5 Mt from 6 Mt.

Other

Nickel production


Mar YTD21

Mar Q21

Mar YTD21
vs
Mar YTD20

Mar Q21
vs
Mar Q20

Mar Q21
vs
Dec Q20

Nickel (kt)

 66.6

 20.4

19%

(2%)

(15%)

Nickel - Nickel West production increased by 19 per cent to 67 kt as a result of major quadrennial maintenance shutdowns in the prior period and strong performance from the new mines. Production for the March 2021 quarter was impacted by the planned maintenance undertaken at the Kwinana refinery during the quarter. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 85 and 95 kt.

 

7

Potash project

Project and
ownership

Investment
US$M

Scope

Progress

Jansen Potash
(Canada)
100%

2,972

Investment to finish the excavation and lining of the production and service shafts, and to continue the installation of essential surface infrastructure and utilities.

The project is 91% complete.

Minerals exploration

Minerals exploration expenditure for the nine months to March 2021 was US$126 million, of which US$83 million was expensed. Greenfield minerals exploration is predominantly focused on advancing copper targets within Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Australia and the south-west United States.

Drilling for copper targets is underway in the United States, Ecuador, and Chile. Further drilling is anticipated for copper in Peru and for nickel in Australia during the 2021 calendar year. At Oak Dam in South Australia, next stage resource definition drilling to inform future design is expected to commence around the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 



 

Variance analysis relates to the relative performance of BHP and/or its operations during the nine months ended March 2021 compared with the nine months ended March 2020, unless otherwise noted. Production volumes, sales volumes and capital and exploration expenditure from subsidiaries are reported on a 100 per cent basis; production and sales volumes from equity accounted investments and other operations are reported on a proportionate consolidation basis. Numbers presented may not add up precisely to the totals provided due to rounding. Copper equivalent production based on 2020 financial year average realised prices.

 

The following footnotes apply to this Operational Review:

(1)   2021 financial year unit cost guidance: Petroleum US$11-12/boe, Escondida US$0.95-1.10/lb, (previously US$1.00-1.25/lb), WAIO US$13-14/t and Queensland Coal US$$74-78//t; (previously US$69-75/t); based on exchange rates of AUD/USD 0.70 and USD/CLP 769.

The following abbreviations may have been used throughout this report: barrels (bbl); billion cubic feet (bcf); cost and freight (CFR); cost, insurance and freight (CIF); dry metric tonne unit (dmtu); free on board (FOB); grams per tonne (g/t); kilograms per tonne (kg/t); kilometre (km); metre (m); million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe); million barrels of oil per day (MMbpd);  million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d); million tonnes (Mt); million tonnes per annum (Mtpa); ounces (oz); pounds (lb); thousand barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe); thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (Mboe/d); thousand ounces (koz); thousand standard cubic feet (Mscf); thousand tonnes (kt); thousand tonnes per annum (ktpa); thousand tonnes per day (ktpd); tonnes (t); and wet metric tonnes (wmt).

In this release, the terms 'BHP', the 'Group', 'BHP Group', 'we', 'us', 'our' and ourselves' are used to refer to BHP Group Limited, BHP Group plc and, except where the context otherwise requires, their respective subsidiaries as defined in note 29 'Subsidiaries' in section 5.1 of BHP's 30 June 2020 Annual Report and Form 20-F. Those terms do not include non-operated assets. Notwithstanding that this release may include production, financial and other information from non-operated assets, non-operated assets are not included in the BHP Group and, as a result, statements regarding our operations, assets and values apply only to our operated assets unless stated otherwise. Our non-operated assets include Antamina, Cerrejón, Samarco, Atlantis, Mad Dog, Bass Strait and North West Shelf. BHP Group cautions against undue reliance on any forward-looking statement or guidance in this release, particularly in light of the current economic climate and significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption arising in connection with COVID-19. These forward looking statements are based on information available as at the date of this release and are not guarantees or predictions of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9



 

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Stefanie Wilkinson

Group Company Secretary

 

 

Media Relations

 

Email: media.relations@bhp.com


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10



 

Production summary

 



Quarter ended

Year to date


BHP interest

Mar
2020

Jun
2020

Sep
2020

Dec
2020

Mar
2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Petroleum (1)









Petroleum









Production










Crude oil, condensate and NGL (Mboe)


11,589

11,355

11,507

10,729

11,601

33,837

37,508


Natural gas (bcf)


80.7

89.8

90.9

78.5

82.6

252.0

269.8


Total (Mboe)


25,039

26,322

26,657

23,812

25,368

75,837

82,475












Copper (2)









Copper









Payable metal in concentrate (kt)










Escondida (3)

57.5%

220.1

228.5

236.7

236.7

202.7

676.1

697.4


Pampa Norte (4)

100.0%

-

-

-

0.7

5.6

6.3

-


Antamina

33.8%

32.9

17.8

34.6

38.6

34.7

107.9

106.7


Total


253.0

246.3

271.3

276.0

243.0

790.3

804.1












Cathode (kt)










Escondida (3)

57.5%

69.6

65.5

47.9

50.9

46.6

145.4

193.9


Pampa Norte (4)

100%

64.3

54.5

42.5

53.6

46.4

142.5

188.2


Olympic Dam

100%

38.4

47.6

51.5

47.6

55.4

154.5

124.0


Total


172.3

167.6

141.9

152.1

148.4

442.4

506.1












Total copper (kt)


425.3

413.9

413.2

428.1

391.4

1,232.7

1,310.2












Lead










Payable metal in concentrate (t)










Antamina

33.8%

621

262

690

993

468

2,151

1,409


Total


621

262

690

993

468

2,151

1,409












Zinc










Payable metal in concentrate (t)










Antamina

33.8%

31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

33,299

109,606

74,726


Total


31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

33,299

109,606

74,726












11

Production summary

 



Quarter ended

Year to date


BHP interest

Mar
2020

Jun
2020

Sep
2020

Dec
2020

Mar
2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Gold










Payable metal in concentrate (troy oz)









Escondida (3)

57.5%

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

37,954

128,075

134,000


Olympic Dam (refined gold)

100%

33,235

34,150

36,608

23,837

37,075

97,520

111,822


Total


69,225

77,572

78,940

71,626

75,029

225,595

245,822












Silver










Payable metal in concentrate (troy koz)









Escondida (3)

57.5%

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

1,318

4,525

4,814


Antamina

33.8%

1,216

626

1,326

1,767

1,463

4,556

3,490


Olympic Dam (refined silver)

100%

241

295

157

193

275

625

689


Total


2,847

2,520

3,063

3,587

3,056

9,706

8,993












Uranium









Payable metal in concentrate (t)










Olympic Dam

100%

776

1,016

874

945

834

2,653

2,662


Total


776

1,016

874

945

834

2,653

2,662












Molybdenum









Payable metal in concentrate (t)










Antamina

33.8%

491

243

284

192

276

752

1,423


Total


491

243

284

192

276

752

1,423























Iron Ore









Iron Ore









Production (kt) (5)










Newman

85%

16,449

17,110

16,410

17,637

14,614

48,661

48,531


Area C Joint Venture

85%

12,179

13,973

11,889

11,567

13,010

36,466

37,526


Yandi Joint Venture

85%

17,491

19,087

17,666

16,413

16,112

50,191

50,175


Jimblebar (6)

85%

13,911

16,559

20,075

16,740

15,241

52,056

45,195


Wheelarra

85%

-

-

-

-

-

-

3


Samarco

50%

-

-

-

37

878

915

-


Total


60,030

66,729

66,040

62,394

59,855

188,289

181,430

12

Production summary

 



Quarter ended

Year to date


BHP interest

Mar
2020

Jun
2020

Sep
2020

Dec
2020

Mar
2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Coal










Metallurgical coal









Production (kt) (7)










BMA

50%

6,869

9,078

7,365

7,539

7,727

22,631

22,497


BHP Mitsui Coal (8)

80%

2,353

2,536

2,325

1,983

1,863

6,171

7,007


Total


9,222

11,614

9,690

9,522

9,590

28,802

29,504












Energy coal









Production (kt)










NSW Energy Coal

100%

3,810

4,887

3,624

3,229

2,981

9,834

11,165


Cerrejón

33.3%

1,978

767

1,038

347

1,795

3,180

6,348


Total


5,788

5,654

4,662

3,576

4,776

13,014

17,513












Other










Nickel









Saleable production (kt)










Nickel West (9)

100%

20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

20.4

66.6

56.2


Total


20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

20.4

66.6

56.2












Cobalt









Saleable production (t)










Nickel West

100%

132

312

238

236

273

747

463


Total


132

312

238

236

273

747

463












(1)     LPG and ethane are reported as natural gas liquids (NGL). Product-specific conversions are made and NGL is reported in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Total boe conversions are based on 6 bcf of natural gas equals 1,000 Mboe.

(2)     Metal production is reported on the basis of payable metal.                                                                                          

(3)     Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 57.5%.                                                                        

(4)     Includes Cerro Colorado and Spence.                                                                                                                           

(5)     Iron ore production is reported on a wet tonnes basis.                                                                                                  

(6)     Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 85%.                                                                           

(7)     Metallurgical coal production is reported on the basis of saleable product. Production figures include some thermal coal.

(8)     Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 80%.                                                                           

(9)     Production restated to include other nickel by-products.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Throughout this report figures in italics indicate that this figure has been adjusted since it was previously reported.             

13

Production and sales report

 



Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Petroleum (1)









Bass Strait










(Mboe)

926

1,231

1,305

1,003

859

3,167

3,762


(Mboe)

958

1,493

1,660

1,057

1,035

3,752

4,173


(bcf)

18.4

28.1

34.1

23.4

22.7

80.2

82.8


(Mboe)

4,957

7,408

8,648

5,960

5,677

20,285

21,741












North West Shelf










(Mboe)

1,266

1,260

1,215

1,180

1,183

3,578

3,979


(Mboe)

191

203

162

165

188

515

593


(bcf)

35.0

35.2

29.6

30.4

31.1

91.1

100.0


(Mboe)

7,287

7,334

6,310

6,412

6,554

19,276

21,235












Pyrenees










(Mboe)

917

971

837

826

679

2,342

2,830


(Mboe)

917

971

837

826

679

2,342

2,830












Other Australia (2)










(Mboe)

1

1

1

1

1

3

10


(bcf)

11.2

11.9

12.7

12.6

12.4

37.7

34.6


(Mboe)

1,874

1,987

2,118

2,101

2,068

6,287

5,783












Atlantis (3)










(Mboe)

2,769

2,223

2,421

2,385

2,590

7,396

9,053


(Mboe)

178

54

154

147

171

472

615


(bcf)

1.3

1.1

1.2

1.1

1.4

3.7

4.5


(Mboe)

3,170

2,456

2,775

2,715

2,994

8,484

10,424












Mad Dog (3)










(Mboe)

1,272

1,297

1,211

930

1,209

3,350

3,570


(Mboe)

55

33

48

38

57

143

156


(bcf)

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.5

0.6


(Mboe)

1,355

1,374

1,292

985

1,299

3,576

3,821












Shenzi (3) (4)










(Mboe)

1,645

1,584

1,395

1,764

2,328

5,487

4,661


(Mboe)

94

40

71

87

130

288

258


(bcf)

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.4

1.0

0.8


(Mboe)

1,791

1,686

1,516

1,901

2,525

5,942

50,543












Trinidad/Tobago










(Mboe)

97

72

102

96

139

337

438


(bcf)

14.0

12.8

12.8

10.5

14.4

37.7

46.1


(Mboe)

2,427

2,201

2,235

1,846

2,539

6,620

8,118












Other Americas (3) (5)










(Mboe)

344

198

212

190

187

589

759


(Mboe)

22

5

2

11

-

13

28


(bcf)

0.3

-

-

0.1

-

0.1

0.4


(Mboe)

412

209

214

218

187

619

850












 

14

Production and sales report

 




Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Algeria










Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

854

690

711

849

845

2,405

2,623


Total petroleum products

(Mboe)

854

690

711

849

845

2,405

2,623























Petroleum (1)




















Total production










Crude oil and condensate

(Mboe)

10,091

9,527

9,410

9,224

10,020

28,654

31,685


NGL

(Mboe)

1,498

1,828

2,097

1,505

1,581

5,183

5,823


Natural gas

(bcf)

80.7

89.8

90.9

78.5

82.6

252.0

269.8


Total

(Mboe)

25,039

26,322

26,657

23,812

25,368

75,837

82,475

(1)  Total boe conversions are based on 6 bcf of natural gas equals 1,000 Mboe. Negative production figures represent finalisation adjustments.

(2) Other Australia includes Minerva and Macedon. Minerva ceased production in September 2019.                                         

(3)  Gulf of Mexico volumes are net of royalties.                                                                                                                         

(4)  BHP completed the acquisition of an additional 28% working interest in Shenzi on 6 November 2020, taking its total working interest to 72%.

(5)  Other Americas includes Neptune, Genesis and Overriding Royalty Interest.                  

 

Copper









Metals production is payable metal unless otherwise stated.













Escondida, Chile (1)










Material mined

(kt)

107,268

75,062

83,357

97,274

95,978

276,609

308,351


Sulphide ore milled

(kt)

33,440

34,755

34,733

36,303

32,654

103,690

101,055


Average concentrator head grade

(%)

0.82%

0.81%

0.85%

0.83%

0.78%

0.82%

0.85%


Production ex mill

(kt)

230.0

236.8

243.9

246.1

207.8

697.8

721.1













Production










Payable copper

(kt)

220.1

228.5

236.7

236.7

202.7

676.1

697.4


Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

69.6

65.5

47.9

50.9

46.6

145.4

193.9


 - Oxide leach

(kt)

29.3

26.8

15.3

18.0

16.1

49.4

79.5


 - Sulphide leach

(kt)

40.2

38.7

32.6

32.9

30.5

96.0

114.4


Total copper

(kt)

289.7

294.0

284.6

287.6

249.3

821.5

891.3













Payable gold concentrate

(troy oz)

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

37,954

128,075

134,000


Payable silver concentrate

(troy koz)

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

1,318

4,525

4,814













Sales










Payable copper

(kt)

212.0

221.0

237.1

244.3

196.9

678.3

682.5


Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

65.9

72.1

46.5

47.7

49.6

143.8

188.8


Payable gold concentrate

(troy oz)

35,990

43,422

42,332

47,789

37,954

128,075

134,000


Payable silver concentrate

(troy koz)

1,390

1,599

1,580

1,627

1,318

4,525

4,814












(1)  Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 57.5%.           

 

15

      Production and sales report

 



Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Pampa Norte, Chile










Cerro Colorado










Material mined

(kt)

18,710

15,734

12,618

6,750

6,153

25,521

51,883


Ore milled

(kt)

4,574

4,553

4,036

3,562

3,283

10,881

13,578


Average copper grade

(%)

0.54%

0.60%

0.66%

0.58%

0.58%

0.61%

0.55%













Production










Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

20.4

16.9

15.8

15.8

13.9

45.5

50.6













Sales










Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

18.3

18.7

14.6

16.6

13.2

44.4

48.6













Spence










Material mined

(kt)

23,304

24,082

18,260

18,485

19,195

55,940

67,476


Ore milled (1)

(kt)

5,191

2,829

4,408

6,809

8,007

19,224

15,959


Average copper grade (2)

(%)

0.87%

0.95%

1.10%

0.76%

0.62%

0.78%

0.91%













Production










Payable copper

(kt)

-

-

-

0.7

5.6

6.3

-


Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

43.9

37.6

26.7

37.8

32.5

97.0

137.6













Sales










Payable copper

(kt)

-

-

-

-

1.8

1.8

-


Copper cathode (EW)

(kt)

44.8

41.0

24.1

40.9

30.7

95.7

135.8

(1)  March 2021 quarter comprised of concentrator throughput of 2,471 kt and cathode throughput of 5,536 kt.

March 2021 year to date comprised of concentrator throughput of 3,678 kt and cathode throughput of 15,546 kt.             

(2) March 2021 quarter weighted average of concentrate grade of 0.58% and cathode grade of 0.64%.

      March 2021 year to date weighted average of concentrate grade of 0.53% and cathode grade of 0.84%.

 

Copper (continued)









Metals production is payable metal unless otherwise stated.














Antamina, Peru










Material mined (100%)

(kt)

52,872

13,975

45,458

57,029

53,762

156,249

175,395


Sulphide ore milled (100%)

(kt)

12,906

6,736

13,202

14,083

12,651

39,936

39,664


Average head grades










 - Copper

(%)

0.88%

0.91%

0.94%

0.97%

0.94%

0.95%

0.94%


 - Zinc

(%)

1.09%

1.02%

1.30%

1.30%

1.16%

1.26%

0.90%













Production










Payable copper

(kt)

32.9

17.8

34.6

38.6

34.7

107.9

106.7


Payable zinc

(t)

31,789

13,736

34,398

41,909

33,299

109,606

74,726


Payable silver

(troy koz)

1,216

626

1,326

1,767

1,463

4,556

3,490


Payable lead

(t)

621

262

690

993

468

2,151

1,409


Payable molybdenum

(t)

491

243

284

192

276

752

1,423













Sales










Payable copper

(kt)

30.8

18.2

33.8

40.7

31.7

106.2

107.5


Payable zinc

(t)

31,007

11,680

32,769

45,109

34,141

112,019

75,011


Payable silver

(troy koz)

815

581

1,310

1,728

1,342

4,380

3,165


Payable lead

(t)

151

188

748

945

689

2,382

1,427


Payable molybdenum

(t)

531

223

392

352

192

936

1,104

 

16

Production and sales report

 



Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Olympic Dam, Australia










Material mined (1)

(kt)

1,920

1,928

2,203

2,379

1,979

6,561

6,744


Ore milled

(kt)

2,178

2,416

2,443

2,377

2,238

7,058

6,531


Average copper grade

(%)

2.31%

2.17%

2.03%

2.02%

2.02%

2.02%

2.33%


Average uranium grade

(kg/t)

0.69

0.60

0.53

0.60

0.61

0.58

0.68













Production










Copper cathode (ER and EW)

(kt)

38.4

47.6

51.5

47.6

55.4

154.5

124.0


Payable uranium

(t)

776

1,016

874

945

834

2,653

2,662


Refined gold

(troy oz)

33,235

34,150

36,608

23,837

37,075

97,520

111,822


Refined silver

(troy koz)

241

295

157

193

275

625

689













Sales










Copper cathode (ER and EW)

(kt)

41.4

48.5

49.5

46.6

55.6

151.7

122.5


Payable uranium

(t)

702

1,293

859

999

779

2,637

2,118


Refined gold

(troy oz)

36,956

37,743

36,054

21,390

38,852

96,296

113,536


Refined silver

(troy koz)

259

270

222

165

242

629

711

(1)  Material mined refers to run of mine ore mined and hoisted.                                                                                                           

 

Iron Ore









Iron ore production and sales are reported on a wet tonnes basis.














Western Australia Iron Ore, Australia









Production










Newman

(kt)

16,449

17,110

16,410

17,637

14,614

48,661

48,531


Area C Joint Venture

(kt)

12,179

13,973

11,889

11,567

13,010

36,466

37,526


Yandi Joint Venture

(kt)

17,491

19,087

17,666

16,413

16,112

50,191

50,175


Jimblebar (1)

(kt)

13,911

16,559

20,075

16,740

15,241

52,056

45,195


Wheelarra

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

3


Total production

(kt)

60,030

66,729

66,040

62,357

58,977

187,374

181,430


Total production (100%)

(kt)

68,168

75,589

74,152

70,407

66,695

211,254

205,469













Sales










Lump

(kt)

15,617

17,252

17,056

16,703

15,593

49,352

46,384


Fines

(kt)

44,764

50,904

48,390

46,124

42,939

137,453

136,058


Total

(kt)

60,381

68,156

65,446

62,827

58,532

186,805

182,442


Total sales (100%)

(kt)

68,439

77,048

73,355

70,772

66,032

210,159

206,211

(1)  Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 85%.                                                                                              

 

Samarco, Brazil (1)










Production

(kt)

-

-

-

37

878

915

-













Sales

(kt)

-

-

-

-

646

646

-

(1)  Samarco commenced iron ore pellet production in December 2020 after meeting the licencing requirements to restart operations at the Germano complex in Minas Gerais and Ubu complex in Espírito Santo, Brazil.                                                                                                                                                          

17

Production and sales report

 



Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Coal










Coal production is reported on the basis of saleable product.

















Queensland Coal, Australia










Production (1)










BMA










Blackwater

(kt)

1,063

1,703

1,184

1,737

1,416

4,337

3,842


Goonyella

(kt)

1,963

2,651

2,312

2,152

2,232

6,696

6,114


Peak Downs

(kt)

1,339

1,635

1,487

1,213

1,595

4,295

4,148


Saraji

(kt)

1,025

1,399

817

1,043

1,238

3,098

3,564


Daunia

(kt)

447

588

490

464

496

1,450

1,582


Caval Ridge

(kt)

1,032

1,102

1,075

930

750

2,755

3,247


Total BMA

(kt)

6,869

9,078

7,365

7,539

7,727

22,631

22,497


Total BMA (100%)

(kt)

13,738

18,156

14,730

15,078

15,454

45,262

44,994













BHP Mitsui Coal (2)










South Walker Creek

(kt)

1,577

1,264

1,238

1,118

1,031

3,387

4,151


Poitrel

(kt)

776

1,272

1,087

865

832

2,784

2,856


Total BHP Mitsui Coal

(kt)

2,353

2,536

2,325

1,983

1,863

6,171

7,007













Total Queensland Coal

(kt)

9,222

11,614

9,690

9,522

9,590

28,802

29,504


Total Queensland Coal (100%)

(kt)

16,091

20,692

17,055

17,061

17,317

51,433

52,001













Sales










BMA










Coking coal

(kt)

6,417

7,547

6,187

6,531

6,752

19,470

20,154


Weak coking coal

(kt)

644

1,040

977

936

1,038

2,951

2,249


Thermal coal

(kt)

224

183

58

3

206

267

348


Total BMA

(kt)

7,285

8,770

7,222

7,470

7,996

22,688

22,751


Total BMA (100%)

(kt)

14,570

17,540

14,444

14,940

15,992

45,376

45,501













BHP Mitsui Coal (2)










Coking coal

(kt)

667

778

671

604

357

1,632

2,004


Weak coking coal

(kt)

1,691

1,756

1,545

1,518

1,404

4,467

5,027


Total BHP Mitsui Coal

(kt)

2,358

2,534

2,216

2,122

1,761

6,099

7,031













Total Queensland Coal

(kt)

9,643

11,304

9,438

9,592

9,757

28,787

29,782


Total Queensland Coal (100%)

(kt)

16,928

20,074

16,660

17,062

17,753

51,475

52,532

(1)   Production figures include some thermal coal.                                                                                                                               

(2)   Shown on a 100% basis. BHP interest in saleable production is 80%.                                                                                            

 

NSW Energy Coal, Australia










Production

(kt)

3,810

4,887

3,624

3,229

2,981

9,834

11,165













Sales










Export thermal coal

(kt)

3,403

4,871

3,168

3,940

2,827

9,935

10,430


Inland thermal coal (1)

(kt)

-

-

-

-

-

-

567


Total

(kt)

3,403

4,871

3,168

3,940

2,827

9,935

10,997

(1)   The domestic sales contract ended in the September 2019 quarter.                                                                                                 

 

Cerrejón, Colombia










Production

(kt)

1,978

767

1,038

347

1,795

3,180

6,348













Sales thermal coal - export

(kt)

2,028

1,143

994

370

1,746

3,110

6,358

18

Production and sales report

 



Quarter ended

Year to date



Mar

2020

Jun

2020

Sep

2020

Dec

2020

Mar

2021

Mar

2021

Mar

2020

Other









Nickel production is reported on the basis of saleable product


















Nickel West, Australia










Mt Keith










Nickel concentrate

(kt)

42.8

60.2

64.4

55.7

54.1

174.2

118.0


Average nickel grade

(%)

15.8

16.5

15.8

14.7

13.3

14.7

17.1













Leinster










Nickel concentrate

(kt)

57.8

72.0

66.2

72.8

71.5

210.5

181.6


Average nickel grade

(%)

9.8

10.2

9.0

9.5

10.2

9.6

9.5













Saleable production










Refined nickel (1) (2)

(kt)

16.6

20.5

17.3

20.4

15.2

52.9

45.1


Intermediates and nickel by-products (1) (3)

(kt)

4.3

3.4

4.9

3.6

5.2

13.7

11.1


Total nickel (1)

(kt)

20.9

23.9

22.2

24.0

20.4

66.6

56.2













Cobalt by-products

(t)

132

312

238

236

273

747

463













Sales










Refined nickel (1) (2)

(kt)

16.8

19.7

17.1

20.9

15.0

53.0

44.4


Intermediates and nickel by-products (1) (3)

(kt)

2.9

4.2

4.6

2.6

5.9

13.1

11.3


Total nickel (1)

(kt)

19.7

23.9

21.7

23.5

20.9

66.1

55.7













Cobalt by-products

(t)

132

312

238

237

273

748

475

(1)   Production and sales restated to include other nickel by-products.                                                                                                 

(2)   High quality refined nickel metal, including briquettes and powder.                                                                                               

(3)   Nickel contained in matte and by-product streams.                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

19

 

 

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