BHP is looking into initiatives to grow its iron ore production to 300 million tonnes per annum.
In his speech to the Bank of America Securities 2023 Global Metals, Mining and Steel Conference Mike Henry, BHP chief executive officer, said BHP’s Western Australian iron ore business was designed with an initial capacity of 240 million tonnes per annum, but is currently producing 280–290 million tonnes.
“We’re now looking at initiatives to grow our production to 300 million tonnes per annum over the medium-term,” Henry told attendees.
“This low capital intensity volume increase involves further debottlenecking our port and rail systems, the rollout of autonomous haulage trucks, and ongoing productivity enhancements.”
Eventually, Henry said, BHP would like to grow iron production to 330 million tonnes and has developed studies to assess the ways this could be done. The studies are expected to be concluded in 2025.
In terms of potash, which includes various mined salts that contain potassium, Henry said BHP had accelerated studies on its Jansen Stage 2 project in Canada to process an additional 4 million tonnes of potash per annum.
“We are really excited about the pipeline of growth projects that we have ahead of ourselves in potash,” Henry said.
“Jansen Stage 1, the first stage, remains on track and on budget, and in fact we have been able to accelerate first production from 2027 into late 2026.
“We have recently started blasting and excavation works at the bottom of the shaft, and we’re looking forward to a productive summer construction season, with a continued focus on civil and mechanical construction activities on the surface and underground.”