Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production

THE timing of the longwall changeover at Rio Tinto’s Kestrel coal mine in Queensland has led to its hard coking coal production for the first half declining by 8% compared to the first half of last year.
Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production Kestrel longwall changover dampens Rio production

Kestrel South's pink shearer. Image courtesy of Rio Tinto.

Lou Caruana

Second quarter production was 14% lower than the same quarter of 2015.

Newly-appointed Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques said: “Rio Tinto has delivered another robust quarter of operational performance.

“We continue to focus on value and maximising cash flow from our assets, through both commercial and operational excellence while maintaining capital discipline. This will ensure that Rio Tinto is well-positioned to generate compelling and consistent returns for our shareholders.”

Semi-soft coking coal production reflects the Coal & Allied restructure in early 2016 and mine production sequencing at Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth, resulting in 8% higher production for the first half of 2016 than the first half of 2015.

Second quarter production was 13% lower than the same quarter of 2015, reflecting mine sequencing at the Hunter Valley Operations favouring thermal coal production in the period.

Thermal coal production for the first half was broadly in line with the same period last year, while second quarter volumes were 6% higher than the second quarter of 2015 (23% higher adjusted for the Bengalla divestment) due to minimal wet weather, current mine sequencing and increased thermal coal tonnage from Hail Creek.

In 2016, Rio Tinto’s share of production is expected to be 17 to 18 million tonnes of thermal coal (previously 16 to 17Mt), 3.3 to 3.9Mt of semi-soft coking coal, and 7-8Mt of hard coking coal.

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