FARMINGTON — BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal generated about $6 million in revenue before taxes, according to a six-month financial report released earlier this week.

BHP Billiton on Monday released a financial report for investors that outlined $6 million in revenue for New Mexico Coal, a subsidiary of BHP Billiton.

"Our half-year results (are) a testament to our employees' commitment to work safely and efficiently while seeking opportunities to reduce costs," said Pat Risner, New Mexico Coal asset president, in a prepared statement.

The report measured financial performance from July to December 2013 and compared it to that same period in 2012. The report showed that at this point last year, New Mexico Coal had higher operating costs.

A mining vehicle on Oct. 9 is parked near a mining operation at the Navajo Mine in Upper Fruitland.
A mining vehicle on Oct. 9 is parked near a mining operation at the Navajo Mine in Upper Fruitland. (The Daily Times file photo)

Overall coal revenues were down from $303 million from July to December 2012 to $278 million over that same time frame in 2013. But Risner said the company was able to make up for the loss in coal sales by reducing operating costs.

With overall revenues down by $25 million, operating cost savings of $31 million created a $6 million revenue gain for the company in the six-month period, Risner said.

"We have a devoted workforce that is continuing to drive productivity and efficiency improvements throughout our business," he said.

New Mexico Coal provides coal to San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners Power Plant. It sold about 12.65 million tons of coal in 2012. The two mines are estimated to employ more than 1,000 people.

New Mexico Coal's gains reflect the positive revenue reports for BHP Billiton, which reported a 31 percent rise in overall profits.

BHP Billiton operates mining operations throughout the world. From July to December 2013, it reported $7.8 billion in revenue.

According to the report, the company has been pushing for reduced operating expenses to keep operations profitable.

The Australia-based company also mine metals, oil and gas, in addition to coal. BHP Billiton is the largest mining company in the world.

The company has also improved worker safety, according to the report. The report states that fewer than five injuries were recorded for every one million hours worked over the first six months of the company's fiscal year. The company recorded nearly nine injuries per million hours worked over that time period in 2006, according to the report.

"We are pleased to report improved safety performance in the first half, reducing our Total Recordable Injury Frequency to a record low of 4.4 per million hours worked," said CEO Andrew Mackenzie in a press release.

Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638.and ezah@daily-times.com. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.