SYDNEY, July 20 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it fell three million tonnes short of its iron ore production guidance for fiscal 2016 due to its Samarco disaster in Brazil.
The world No. 3 miner of the steelmaking ingredient said fourth-quarter output reached 55.6 million tonnes, pushing the annual total to 257 million tonnes against guidance of 260 million.
Production for the current financial year is forecast to increase to between 265 million tonnes and 275 million tonnes, all from the company's Western Australia mines, it said.
BHP earlier this year cut its Western Australia iron ore production for the year to June 30, 2016 by 10 million tonnes to 260 million tonnes, blaming a cyclone that ripped through the Pilbara iron ore region in January coupled with accelerated railway maintenance work.
BHP cited for the lower output a halt to production from its half-owned Samarco iron ore business in Brazil in early November due to a dam burst.
Reporting by James Regan