The company’s management will seek to ratchet up productivity rates at its underground operations to help match rates achieved at its high performing open cut operations such as Moolarben and Middlemount.
Steady production at the Moolarben, Yarrabee and Middlemount open cut operations offset reduced run rates in the September quarter at the NSW underground mines, resulting from a scheduled longwall move at Ashton and restructures of the Austar and Abel mines.
The scheduled restructure of operations at Austar including the cessation of longwall operations and subsequent introduction of two development production teams, resulted in production being down 92% year-on-year and 86% on the previous September quarter.
Abel production was in line with expectations, down 33% year-on-year and down 24% on the previous September quarter, as a result of the mine’s restructure and reduction in operations from three extractors to one and five developers to two.
Ashton’s strong production gains were offset by a scheduled longwall move at the beginning of the September quarter, with the recommencement of production subsequently interrupted by the further narrowing of the block, as required.
A return to full production overcame anticipated challenging geological conditions, achieving results up 148% on the year prior and down 11% on the previous September quarter.