SYDNEY – (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) upgraded its iron ore production target for fiscal 2014 while petroleum output hit a quarterly record, as it ramps up output to capture more of a slower-growing market for raw materials.
Iron ore benefited from multi-billion-dollar expansion work underway in Australia that will lift fiscal 2014 output to 212 million tonnes, up from a previous target of 207 million, BHP (BLT.L) said in its fiscal first-quarter production report.
In petroleum, liquids output rose 16 percent, helped by a shift in focus at its U.S. shale holdings to focus more on oil production as U.S. gas prices sag.
BHP has warned mining companies face slowing demand growth for raw materials from China and elsewhere requiring greater emphasis on economies of scale to keep costs down.
The world’s biggest mining company has already cut planned spending for 2013/14 by 25 percent to $16 billion, and has earmarked a further decline for the following year.