UK Coal posts loss

PUTTING a £65 million 2009 operating loss behind it, UK Coal will push to start up new faces at Kellingley, Thoresby and Daw Mill this year but already faces major hurdles.
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Thoresby mine, courtesy UK Coal

Angie Tomlinson

The start-up of Daw Mill has been pushed back to the end of March rather than the end of February as the crew faces difficult geological conditions.

Daw Mill went through a rough patch at the end of 2009 with reduced dispatches due to a higher than usual proportion of dirt in the panel. The mine produced 2.9 million tonnes for the year, down from 3.2Mt in 2008.

New face start-ups at Kellingley and Thorsesby remain unchanged, set for late February and mid-March respectively.

UK Coal produced 7Mt overall in 2009, 5.65Mt of which was from its deep mines.

Deep mining operations had a difficult December quarter, producing 1.2Mt compared to 1.8Mt last year.

Despite the production decreases, 2009 was a good year for development crews with deep mines increasing development metreage by 38%. Overall driveage for the year was 19.8km.

Revenue for 2009 was £317 million, with the full-year loss before tax and exceptional items at £115 million.