An extended longwall move at Grosvenor during the quarter also impacted metallurgical coal production, which came in at 4.9 million tonnes compared to 5.4Mt in the previous corresponding period.
Grosvenor completed its first longwall panel during Q4 2017, which was followed by an extended longwall move in order to rectify component defects identified during the first panel.
The Dawson mine was reconfigured at the end of 2016 to remove higher cost volumes and, in Q4 2017, was transitioning to a new mining area.
This was partially offset by an increase in production at Grasstree, which experienced geological issues and a longwall move in Q4 2016.
Turning to Anglo American’s South African coal operations, primary export thermal coal production decreased by 6% to 4Mt.
Productivity improvements at the underground operations were offset by ongoing operational challenges at Khwezela, and Mafube transitioning into a new pit.
The production increase compared with Q3 2017 reflects the ramp-up in production following a 100-hour safety stoppage at all operations in Q3 following a fatal incident in August 2017.