Cumnock profitable in 2005

XSTRATA subsidiary Cumnock Coal recorded a net profit after tax of $20 million in 2005, down 50% on 2004, as its New South Wales opencut operation produced 1.4 million tonnes of ROM coal.

Angie Tomlinson

Profit before income tax totalled $27.5 million, up 8.2% on pre-tax earnings the previous year.

Cumnock Coal said increased pre-tax profitability was thanks to increased sales prices offset by lower sales volumes combined with the strengthening of the Australian dollar.

Its operations, which are under contract with Roche Mining, produced 13% more ROM tonnes over 2004, and 1.1Mt of saleable output (up 5% on 2004).

The company said continued development of the opencut operation would result in an increased proportion of export thermal market and a corresponding reduction in semi-soft coal.

Reserves at Cumnock’s current opencut will be exhausted by late 2008 or early 2009, with the company currently investigating whether mining options exist in the current lease area beyond that time.

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