BHP announces record coal haul form Queensland mines
QUEENSLAND'S most powerful coal miner has slugged through international conditions to announce record-breaking production for its suite of operations.
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance - which has interests in eight Central Queensland mines - produced 22% more coal in the final six months of last year, pulling almost 22 million tonnes of coal from its mines.
The multinational resource giant released its half-year report on Wednesday morning.
Its South Walker Creek, Poitrel and Saraji mines each recorded their best ever production figures.
BHP chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie singled out its Queensland operations for particular praise, describing it as having "clearly demonstrated" the BHP focus on productivity.
"Our productivity agenda is in full swing and we expect to carry strong momentum into the second half of the financial year," Mr Mackenzie said.
BHP is trying desperately to overcome a continued lull in hard-coking coal prices, the key product produced by its projects west of Mackay and Rockhampton.
The price for its coking coal at the end of 2013 was 18% lower than a year earlier, and 10% below what it was in June.
In Queensland, BHP operates the Blackwater, Goonyella, Peak Downs, Saraji, Gregory Joint Venue, Daunia, South Walker Creek and Poitrel mines.
BHP's West Australian iron ore business also achieved record-breaking figures for the final six months of 2013.