Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh

MARCH quarter coal production for Wesfarmers' Curragh mine in Queensland has plunged by 15.25% from the previous quarter due to the disruption caused by cyclone Oswald and targeted reduction of overburden removal capacity.
Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh Cyclone Oswald plays havoc with Curragh

Courtesy Wesfarmers

Lou Caruana

The mine produced 2.2 million tonnes, made up of 1.5Mt of metallurgical coal and 732,000t of steaming coal.

Cyclone Oswald significantly interrupted rail and port activity for four weeks and led to mine stockpiles reaching capacity.

Metallurgical coal production decreased by 15.4% and steaming coal production decreased by 14.8% compared to the previous quarter.

For the 12 months to March 31, 2013, metallurgical coal production increased 26.5% to 7.7Mt, reflecting the additional capacity of Curragh’s new coal handling and preparation plant.

The disruption to supply from Queensland coal mines caused by Oswald contributed to a metallurgical coal price rise for the next three months.

For the April to June 2013 quarter, the weighted average US dollar free-on-board new contract prices of Curragh metallurgical coal (hard coking, semi-hard coking and pulverised coal injection) will increase by approximately 4% as compared to the January to March 2013 quarter prices, subject to actual contract deliveries for the quarter.

Curragh has completed metallurgical coal exports negotiations for the June quarter with the majority of customers, according to Wesfarmers Resources managing director Stewart Butel.

He said the coal pricing outcome for Curragh’s range of metallurgical coals was in line with recent market price settlements.

Approximately 75% of the June quarter sales tonnage is forecast to be at the new contract prices with the balance at carry-over prices.

“Year to date sales of metallurgical coal were affected by a scheduled mine shutdown in December and wet weather associated with cyclone Oswald, which significantly interrupted rail and port activities for four weeks and led to mine stockpiles reaching capacity,” Butel said.

“Curragh’s metallurgical coal sales volume is forecast to remain in the range of 7.5 to 8 million tonnes for the 2013 financial year.

“This forecast is subject to no further significant wet weather and satisfactory rail and port operations.”

topics

loader