BHP has raised its iron ore production target for the financial year after restarting a mining operation in Brazil.
The miner on Wednesday gave a half-year production update in which it said it would produce between 245 and 255 million tonnes of iron ore.
The company in December restarted the Samarco joint venture, five years after a dam collapsed and killed 19 people in Brazil’s biggest environmental disaster.
BHP and Brazilian miner Vale have 50 per cent stakes in Samarco.
Chinese steel-makers’ demand for iron ore has been key to miners’ profits.
The iron ore price has climbed from a little more than $US80 per tonne last year, to $US172 per tonne, based on China port data.
The commodity accounts for about 64 per cent of BHP’s earnings.
Full-year production guidance for copper was narrowed to between 1510 and 1645 thousand tonnes following better performance of the Escondida mine in Chile.
The target for energy coal was lowered to between 21 and 23 million tonnes after workers went on strike for 91 days over pay and conditions at the Cerrejon mine in Columbia.
There was no change for petroleum or metallurgical coal. The petroleum target is between 95 and 102 million barrels of oil equivalent, while the metallurgical coal one is between 40 and 44 million tonnes.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda said the strong iron ore market, as well as rising prices for petroleum and metallurgical coal, would help company earnings.
BHP also said its first-half earnings will include a write-down of between $US1.15 billion and $US1.25 billion ($A1.61 million) for its NSW Energy Coal business.
The company said this reflected market conditions for Australian thermal coal, the strengthening Aussie dollar and changes to the mine plan.
Last year the miner said it would divest its thermal coal assets, which includes NSW Energy Coal and Cerrejon, as well as open cut coal mines in Queensland, over two years.
Shares were higher by 1.37 per cent to $A46.50 at 1550 AEDT.