SYDNEY, Jul 20, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Production of iron ore by BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU) in the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30 rose 16% from a year before, but held flat from the previous three months despite record prices for the commodity, the mining group said Wednesday.
In a year-end production report, the company said iron ore production hit 125.0 million metric tons over the year and 31.2 million tons in the fourth quarter, level with the third quarter.
Energy coal was also flat versus the previous quarter, and fell 8% on year, to 16.3 million tons. Production totaled 66.1 million tons for the year.
Metallurgical coal production was up 3% for the year at 37.4 million tons, and up 16% on year in the fourth quarter at 11.0 million tons.
Base metals production was mixed, with strong performance at mines in Chile and the return of full production at Australia's Olympic Dam mine, affected since late 2009 by mine shaft problems.
Copper production fell 5% on the year to 291,100 tons in the fourth quarter, while lead production grew 7% to 62,900 tons, and zinc rose 3% to 45,400 tons.
Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids output gained 18% on the year to 25.7 million barrels in the quarter while natural gas output fell 6% to 91.0 billion cubic feet.