Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale

PRODUCTION at Vale’s Carborough Downs mine in Queensland plunged by 25% in the September quarter to 277,000 tonnes as geological problems and rock faulting disrupted longwall production.
Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale Carborough Downs weighs down on Vale

Carborough Downs, image courtesy of Vale.

Lou Caruana

The mine remains the laggard in the Vale stable, which increased global production on the previous quarter by 41.6% to 1.8Mt due mainly to 60.4% higher thermal coal output. The production of metallurgical coal totalled 586,000t and thermal coal 1.2Mt for the September quarter.

“It [Carborough Downs] was negatively affected by geological problems with a rock fault during mining, which resulted in lower coal yields with a high percentage of rock in ROM,” Vale said.

“Although the 3Q11 performance was still affected by the consequences of last year’s severe flooding in the state of Queensland, Australia, in 4Q10, it was able to ramp up to the pre-flooding level.”

Production of metallurgical and thermal coal at Integra coal mine in New South Wales was 82,000t and 107,000t, respectively, in 3Q11.

Although metallurgical coal output improved from the previous quarter it continued to be negatively impacted by the longwall move that started in 2Q11, operating below its normal level.

Thermal coal output showed a recovery, rising to 107,000t from 25,000t in 2Q11, returning to the same level of 3Q10. This was caused by the coal flow coming on line from the open cut Western extension.

Coal production in Vale’s other mines – El Hatillo in Colombia and Il Moatize in Mozambique – totalled 227,000t of metallurgical coal and 84,000t of thermal coal.

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