After record quarter, BHP to focus on cutting costs

A MONTH after firing 700 people BHP has announced it mined a record amount of coal from central Queensland.

The miner announced a record quarterly production in an operational review yesterday.

BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie described the company's performance as "robust" but flagged more cost cutting company-wide.

"Our relentless focus on productivity continues to yield strong results," he said

"With our focus now on maximising the value of existing infrastructure, we plan to reduce costs and invest judiciously in very low capital debottlenecking initiatives."

BHP's coal production was up 19% during the 2014 September quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

Record production at Daunia, South Walker Creek and the opening of the Caval Ridge has increased the coal BHP has mined.

Despite only just opening Caval Ridge operated at full capacity during the quarter.

The report said "record production at Queensland Coal was underpinned by strong operational performance across the business and continued improvement in truck and wash-plant utilisation".

"The new Caval Ridge mine operated at capacity during the period while the Daunia and South Walker Creek mines also produced at a record rate."

The review does not mention the job losses which were announced in the period it covers.