BHP produces record ore
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday posted record half-year iron ore production from Western Australia State, but held back from improving the full-year outlook due to bad weather risks. BHP achieved record production of 108 million tonnes of the key steel-making ingredient in the resource-rich Pilbara region in the half-year ending last month, despite weather-related downtime and an increase in planned maintenance, it said. “Our Western Australia iron-ore business continues to perform strongly. However, we have maintained production guidance of 212 million metric tons for the 2014 financial year [ending in June], given the general uncertainty that exists as we enter the wet season,” BHP said in an operational review.
US$1.5bn 5G plan announced
The government of what is already one of the most wired countries on Earth yesterday announced a 1.6 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) plan to roll out a next-generation 5G wireless service quick enough to download full-length films in a second. The science ministry said it aims to implement the technology — about 1,000 times faster than the 4G services currently available — within six years. “We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now it is time to take preemptive action to develop 5G,” the ministry said in a statement. “Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology ... and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years,” it said. Under the roadmap, a trial 5G service will be rolled out in 2017 and a fully commercial service in December 2020.
Boeing sent China 143 jets
Boeing Co said it delivered a record number of jets to China last year and expects to hand over a similar number of aircraft this year as growth in the world’s second-biggest economy spurs demand for air travel. Deliveries this year to China will be in the range of 140 aircraft after handing over a record 143 planes last year, Marc Allen, president of Boeing China, said in Beijing yesterday. Chicago-based Boeing, which delivered a record 648 jets worldwide, also secured orders for more than 230 new aircraft from the country last year, he said. Asian growth is lifting orders for Boeing and Airbus Group with China forecast to supplant the US as the world’s largest market by 2032, the European planemaker forecast in September. China’s economic expansion is helping air travel affordable to more people, increasing demand for planes from carriers such as Air China Ltd and China Southern Airlines Co.
Gates full-time philanthropist
Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates will work on philanthropy full time for the rest of his life and contribute part time as a board member of the software maker, which is seeking a new chief executive officer. Gates, speaking in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s In the Loop With Betty Liu, did not indicate whether Microsoft’s board was closer to choosing a replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer, who is retiring this year. The board began its search after Ballmer, CEO since 2000, said in August last year that he planned to retire from the company within 12 months. Gates has emphasized the need to find a CEO with “the ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent.” Lead independent director John Thompson, who is heading the search committee, has said the board plans to make its decision in the “early part of 2014.”