StockMarketWire.com - Mining titan BHP said production was broadly unchanged in the first half of its financial year year as copper and iron ore output rose, but petroleum output fell.

Petroleum production decreased by 9% to 57m barrels of oil equivalent in the six months through December and copper production increased by 7% to 885,000 tonnes.

The uptick in copper output was attributed to strong concentrator throughput at BHP's Escondida mine, which more than offset the impact from social unrest in Chile.

Total iron ore production increased by 2% to 121m tonnes, metallurgical coal production fell 2% to 20m tonnes and nickel production decreased by 11% to 35,000 tonnes amid maintenance work, the company said.

'Production and cost guidance is unchanged, and we remain on track to deliver slightly higher production than last year,' BHP said.

'Our six major development projects are progressing well, and we continue to advance our exploration programs in petroleum and copper.'

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