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BHP posts 22% iron ore production rise

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The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP), has posted a 22% rise in iron ore production in Western Australia for the nine months to March.

The company’s production report shows a 35% increase in onshore US-based oil production in the first quarter of 2012, over the previous quarter.

Production records for the nine months to March were exceeded for its coal assets in NSW and Columbia, while its Queensland coal production was hampered by floods and industrial action.

“The extent to which industrial action will continue to affect production, sales and unit costs is difficult to predict, however with inventories now severely depleted, the impact on future quarters may be significant,” BHP said in a statement.

Energy coal production fell 2% to 17.25 million tonnes.

Natural gas production was up 120% over the same period the previous year.

“Strong performance from its onshore US and Angostura (Trinidad and Tobago) businesses contributed to the rise in natural gas production for the nine months ending in March.”

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