SMM4 22: recently, BHP Billiton released its first quarter 2020 results, the announcement shows that the company's financial situation is good, supported by low-cost operations, the business is flexible, and is expected to continue to generate considerable cash flow. On the nickel side, production increased after the completion of the main maintenance activities at the Kwinana refinery and the Kalgoorlie smelter.
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Due to the major quadrennial shutdown of the Kwinana refinery and the Kalgoorlie smelter and the planned routine maintenance of the concentrator in the fourth quarter of 2019, the output of, Western Nickel (Mar YTD20) decreased by 4 per cent to 56 kt. In the first quarter of 2020, operations returned to full capacity. With the transition to the new mine, the first batch of ore was completed in Yakabindie (the new open-pit mine in Keith Hill) this quarter. As a result of the extended shutdown period, production is now expected to be lower in fiscal year 2020 than in fiscal year 2019. We will continue to take action to reduce the risk of the epidemic and operate safely in accordance with strict health and travel guidelines, including through flexible shifts to reduce the number of people at our operating facilities and locations.
In Australia, the company has deployed operational services in 14 locations in WAIO, Queensland Coal and NSWEC, creating more than 2000 permanent jobs and successfully accelerating security and productivity growth.
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