BHP iron ore production hit by train driver shortage
BHP Group on Tuesday reported a fall in first-quarter iron ore output due to a shortage of train drivers to ship the commodity as a result of Australian Covid-19 border restrictions.
Iron ore production was down 4% year on year 63.3m tonnes (mt) in the three months to September 30.
However, the world's largest miner left its annual production outlook unchanged. Rival Rio Tinto last week cut its shipments forecast because of the tight labour market.
BHP was forced to ask train drivers to work more hours, as Australia remains subject to strict border restrictions between states. Workers usually fly in and out of mine sites from major cities.
Drivers transport iron ore from the key Pilbara region to Port Hedland for shipping. Much of the iron ore goes to steelmakers in China.
BHP said the worker shortage had improved in September.
Output at the petroleum business, which is set to be bought by Woodside Petroleum, rose 3% to 27.5m barrels of oil equivalent.
Metallurgical coal output dropped 9% to 8.9 mt, while thermal coal production jumped 17% to 4.2 mt.