Cyclone hits Anglo production

TROPICAL Cyclone Debbie has blown 600,000t of Anglo American’s coal production for the six months to June into the next financial year.
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Anglo American's Moranbah North mine in Queensland.

Lou Caruana

The miner’s six month production of 10 million tonnes is on par with the same period last year.

The tonnes lost due to TC Debbie’s effects on the Queensland rail network were offset by an increase in saleable production of 300,000t at Moranbah North and 400,000t at Grosvenor in Queensland.

“The impact of Cyclone Debbie on the Queensland rail network resulted in operational delays in processing and railing stocks, resulting in a buildup, which will wind down during H2 2017,” the company said.

“Grosvenor production ramp up continues to be impacted by geological issues which remain a key business focus in order to improve operational performance in the future.

“Full year production guidance for export metallurgical coal remains unchanged at 19-21Mt, but is expected to be at the lower end of this range owing to the geological issues at Grosvenor.”

Underlying earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation increased to US$943 million, due to a 150% increase in the metallurgical coal realized price, the ramp up of Grosvenor and increased production from Moranbah. 

This was partly offset by lower production, due to the sale of Foxleigh in H2 2016, and sales, primarily at Capcoal, being delayed into H2 2017 as a result of rail outages following TC Debbie. 

Following the divestments of PCI producer Foxleigh and domestic and export thermal coal producer Callide and the cessation of mining activities at export thermal coal producer Drayton, the business now produces a greater proportion of higher value hard coking coal.

The company announced the divestment of Dartbrook on May 30 and said the divestment of Drayton was expected to complete during H2 2017.