Forbes production dips after strike

SOUTH Africa-focused miner Forbes Coal has reported a 41% drop in saleable production over the second quarter of fiscal 2013 due to more than four weeks’ strike action by 1000 employees.
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Courtesy Forbes Coal.

Justin Niessner

The Toronto-based company’s Aviemore and Magdalena undergrounds produced 162,000 tonnes of saleable coal on the quarter compared to 256,000t in the second quarter FY2013.

Total sales in the 13-week period were 147,000t, a 48% decrease over second-quarter FY2013.

Forbes president and chief executive Stephan Theron said the mines had been back in full production since November 19 but, “under prevailing market conditions and weak coal prices globally, we are monitoring coal output.”

In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the company exported 73,000t of coal with domestic sales of 74,000t.

Forbes brought its South African back to full capacity late last month with a settlement that increased the average wage of its workers by 14.8%.

The National union of Mineworkers had previously rejected an offer of an 8.5% increase.

Magdalena has a 51.3 million tonne measured coal resource and production capacity of 100,000 tonnes of bituminous coal per month.

Aviemore counts a 1.6Mt measured resource and estimates monthly production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of coal.

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