MARKETS

Kestrel gives a boost to Rio's hard coking coal production

RIO Tinto's hard coking coal production in 2015 was 11% higher than 2014 following improved production rates at its Kestrel longwall mine in Queensland.

Lou Caruana
Kestrel gives a boost to Rio's hard coking coal production

Fourth quarter tonnage was 16% higher than the same quarter of 2014 due to the longwall changeover at Kestrel in 2014.

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said: “Against a challenging market backdrop for the industry, Rio Tinto remains focused on operating and commercial excellence to leverage the low-cost position of our Tier 1 asset base.

“In 2015, we delivered efficient production, meeting our targets across all of our major products, while rigorously controlling our cost base. We will continue to focus on disciplined management of costs and capital to maximise cash flow generation throughout 2016.”

The future of Kestrel could not be guaranteed if an extension to continue production for another 20 years is not granted, the company has warned the Federal government last year in a submission.

The company volunteered this information to the Federal government despite it receiving approval beforehand because of changes to the EPBC Act in regard to water tables.

Rio is seeking a mining lease for the Kestrel extension, which is expected it to produce about 5.7 million tonnes a year over the next 20 years.

Rio Tinto’s share of hard coking and thermal coal production was in line with 2015 guidance, while semi-soft coking coal production was seven per cent above the top end of the guidance range due to mine sequencing.

Semi-soft coking coal production was 14 per cent higher than 2014, and nine per cent higher in the fourth quarter than in the same quarter of 2014, reflecting mine production sequencing at Hunter Valley Operations.

In 2016, Rio Tinto’s share of production is expected to be 7 to 8Mt of hard coking coal, 3.3 to 3.9 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal and 16 to 17Mt of thermal coal.

Thermal coal guidance includes a contribution from Bengalla up to the expected date of divestment during the first quarter of 2016.

TOPICS:

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Exploration Report 2024 (feat. Opaxe data)

A comprehensive review of exploration trends and technologies, highlighting the best intercepts and discoveries and the latest initial resource estimates.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Future Fleets Report 2024

The report paints a picture of the equipment landscape and includes detailed profiles of mines that are employing these fleets

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Digitalisation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations that use digitalisation technology to drive improvements across all areas of mining production

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Automation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations using autonomous solutions in every region and sector, including analysis of the factors driving investment decisions