BHP says that it has continued its focus on safe performance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as its met coal business continues to show safety and productivity improvements in the latest quarter.
Speaking on the release of the BHP Quarterly report, Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry said: “BHP has started the new financial year with a strong first quarter of safety and production performance.”
He said that “Group production rose two per cent from a year ago driven by solid results in metallurgical coal and iron ore, our major growth projects made good progress, and we secured more options in copper, nickel and oil.”
The company confirmed that the BHP Operations Services team has also continued to grow despite strong resistance from unions who have fought BHP on agreements made with Operations Services employees. The unions argue that BHP Operations Services personnel were typically underpaid in contrast with other BHP employees.
BHP’s Operations Services has now created over 3,300 permanent jobs in Australia.BHP Quarterly Report – October 2020
BHP says that it is successfully accelerating safety, productivity and efficiency outcomes across its Operations Services functions including WAIO, Queensland Coal and NSWEC and has committed to 2,500 additional apprenticeship and traineeship positions which will be made available through the first two BHP FutureFit academies in Mackay in Queensland and Perth in Western Australia, over the next five years.
South America remains a challenging environment for the big Australian
The company confirmed that the copper operations in South America continue to be impacted by COVID-19 preventative measures.
It said that good progress is continuing to be made with courts in Brazil South America which is seeking to expedite the remediation process related to the Fundão dam failure.
On 30 September 2020, the prosecutors filed a request for immediate resumption of the public civil action filed in 2016.
According to BHP, this claim had been suspended under a Governance Agreement ratified on 8 August 2018, in which BHP Brasil, Samarco and Vale established a process to renegotiate the environmental and socio-economic programs over two years to progress settlement of the R$155 billion (approximately US$28 billion) Federal Public Prosecution Office claim.
“BHP, Samarco and Vale consider the resumption request without merit, given that there was no default of obligations under the Governance Agreement. BHP, Samarco and Vale remain committed to supporting the Renova Foundation and its work to progress the remediation and compensatory programs to restore the environment and re-establish communities affected by the Samarco tragedy.
South Flank and Olympic Dam on Track
The company also confirmed in the BHP Quarterly Report that Olympic Dam delivered its best quarterly production in the past five years and it was on track for first production from South Flank in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.
In FY2020, the company total recordable injury frequency (TRIF) performance decreased by 11 per cent to 4.2 per million hours worked, compared to 4.7 in FY2019.
High potential injuries (HPI) decreased by 16 per cent from FY2019 and the frequency rate decreased by 23 per cent. HPI trends remain a primary focus to assess progress against our most important safety objective: to eliminate fatalities.
The company has identified that the highest number of events that have fatality potential in vehicle, mobile equipment, dropped and falling object events.
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