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BHP’s Jimblebar mine opening cancelled

The opening of BHP Billiton’s (ASX: BHP) Jimblebar iron ore mine was cancelled following the closure of Newman airport, located in the north of Western Australia.

Six Qantas (ASX: QAN) and Virgin Australia (ASX: VAH) flights that were due to land at the airport had to be cancelled as an emulsion treatment that had been applied to the tarmac failed to dry in time and became sticky in the heat.

This came as BHP’s CEO Andrew Mackenzie and Western Australia’s Premier Colin Barnett, as well as dignitaries and media groups, were set to travel to the opening of the Pilbara mine on Monday.

In its first-quarter operational review, which was released last month, BHP increased its full-year production guidance for the steelmaking ingredient to 212 million tonnes following a record production of 54 million tonnes for the three months. The delivery of first ore from Jimblebar six months ahead of schedule contributed to this result and should continue to help push overall production rates higher in the future.

A spokeswoman for BHP stated that the miner was not sure whether another official opening would be scheduled, but said that “the cancellation does not detract from the significant achievement of the opening of our newest mine, particularly the delivery of first ore six months ahead of the original schedule.”

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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