SINGAPORE BHP Billiton Plcs copper production rose 7 percent year on year in the fiscal fourth quarter following a strong performance by its Escondida and Antamina mines.
BHPs copper output of 333,200 tonnes for the three months ended June 30 was also up 8 percent from the preceding quarter.
Copper production for the companys fiscal year ended June 30 rose 10 percent to 1.2 million tonnes.
Copper production at Escondida in Chile increased 28 percent to 1.1 million tonnes (100-percent basis) for the year as the average copper grade mined rose to 1.4 percent and milling rates improved, the company said.
"This strong level of performance is expected to be sustained during the 2014 financial year before increasing to approximately 1.3 million tonnes (100-percent basis) in the 2015 financial year," the company added.
BHP is the operator of the Escondida project with a 57.7-percent stake, Rio Tinto Plc holds a 30-percent interest and others hold the rest.
Antamina in Peru achieved record copper production during the financial year, reflecting contribution from the recently expanded concentrator, BHP said.
The mining company, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with corporate centers in London and Singapore, didnt disclose its production target for the next year.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.