The completion of various advanced-stage thermal coal expansion projects also played their part in the better result coal result.
Australian thermal and semi-soft production for the September quarter was 49.1Mt – 11% higher than the previous comparable period.
“The increase reflects the start of longwall operations at Ulan West and productivity improvements at the Bulga complex,” Glencore said.
“Expansion projects at Ravensworth North and Rolleston also contributed to the increase.”
The story for Australian coking coal production was not as bright. It dropped by 18% to 4.6Mt mainly because of cost reduction initiatives that resulted in mine plan and roster changes at Newlands, Oaky Creek and Collinsville, and the impact of mining through a fault at Oaky North.
South African September quarter thermal coal production was 34.4Mt, 5% higher than the comparable period.
The increase principally reflects opening of the Wonderfontein open cut mine in the first quarter of 2014, inclusion of the Hlagisa open cut mine for a full year in 2014 and the benefits of productivity improvements at the Tweefontein underground operations.
These increases were tempered by the closure of certain higher cost mines.
The group’s share of CerrejÃ³n production in Colombia was 8.2Mt – 6% higher than the comparable period – and mainly relates to the impact of the 32-day strike that occurred in the first quarter of 2013.