SYDNEY, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Global miner BHP Billiton on Wednesday reported that it increased its iron ore and petroleum production in the first quarter of the financial year but base metal volumes fell.
Iron ore output totaled 39.57 million tones in the three months to September 30, up 24 percent from the same period of the previous year, BHP Billiton said in its quarterly production report on Wednesday.
Iron ore production for the September quarter was also up 11 percent, compared with June quarter.
The company said Western Australia iron ore shipments rose to a record annualized rate of 173 million tones a year in the September quarter.
The increased Western Australia iron ore shipments represented a 28 percent lift over the previous corresponding period, it said.
"Western Australia iron ore continued to benefit from the dual tracking of the company's rail infrastructure, increasing overall system capability," BHP Billiton said.
Petroleum production for the September quarter totaled 51.4 million barrels of oil equivalent, up 19 percent from the previous corresponding period, and up 19 percent from the June quarter.
BHP Billiton said the higher petroleum production reflected the acquisition of the Fayetteville and Petrohawk shale businesses in the United States, plus a strong operating performance from existing assets.
Copper production in the three months to September was down 24 percent from the previous corresponding period, and down 19 percent from the June quarter.
Industrial action at Escondida in Chile and planned smelter and refinery outages at Olympic Dam in South Australia impacted on copper production in the first quarter of the financial year, the mining giant said.