The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price has dipped slightly in early trade today, slipping 0.13% at the time of writing.
In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is also down today, edging 0.27% lower.
Let’s zoom out, though, to see how the BHP share price is performing so far in June.
What’s been happening lately?
BHP has had it’s fair share of ups and downs this year-to-date but the mining giant’s shares are trading higher so far in June, up more than 4% since the open on 1 June.
This climb is reflected in the overall upbeat sentiment across the S&P/ASX 200 Resources Index (ASX: XJR) sector, up 4.5% over the same period.
While BHP shares are continuing their stronger form this month, management marked an exciting milestone last week.
In a news update, the company advised its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) operations had achieved an autonomous drilling milestone.
BHP WAIO division has had its drills operating autonomously for more than 479,607 hours. This equates to drilling more than 25 million metres, which is the distance between Perth and Newman around 21 times. Newman is located 1186km north of Perth in the Pilbara region of WA.
About BHP’s autonomous drilling
The company first started its remotely operated drilling program at the Yandi iron ore mine in Western Australia in late 2016.
Since then, BHP has expanded autonomous drilling to a total of 26 rigs across its five Pilbara mine sites. Other locations include Mining Area C, Newman’s Eastern Ridge mine, Jimblebar, Newman’s Whaleback mine, and South Flank.
All rigs across each of the mine sites are controlled remotely from the Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC) in Perth.
BHP’s WAIO now holds the title as one of the biggest autonomous drill fleets in the world.
WAIO Asset President, Brandon Craig commented on the feat:
This is an exciting milestone in WAIO’s autonomous journey and one we should all be proud of.
The autonomous drilling program sought to eliminate the risk of safety incidents and serious injuries to our people and, by removing them from the drilling frontline, we’ve also seen an increase in overall drill productivity.
BHP share price summary
Year-to-date, BHP shares are up around 30%. A boom in commodity prices alongside the Russian war in Ukraine are likely to have helped support BHP’s margins.
In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is down almost 2% over the month after a strong beginning in 2022.