Whitehaven to chase met coal: Haggarty

THE newly merged Whitehaven Coal will lift metallurgical coal to up to 60% of managed saleable production by FY2016 once its Maules Creek and Narrabri mines in New South Wales reach full production, managing director Tony Haggarty told a mining and steel conference in the US.
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Whitehaven managing director Tony Haggarty.

Lou Caruana

Currently metallurgical coal only constitutes 31% of Whitehaven’s total saleable production but the company is seeking to earn better margins through ramping up the sale of pulverised coal injection and metallurgical coals.

“Whitehaven’s raw coal is very clean,” Haggarty said.

“It has an average saleable yield of +90% based on a 50:50 split of washed and bypassed coal and 50:50 split of metallurgical and thermal coal products.

“It has a competitive cost structure with average open-cut stripping ratio of approximately 7.5 bcm per tonne of ROM coal and approximately 8.3 bcm per tonne of product.

“Its high yield reduces unit cost per saleable tonne.”

Total saleable production will lift to 25 million tonnes by 2016 from its present 5Mt .

This month Whitehaven Coal implemented a $5.1 billion merger with Aston Resources, which positioned it as one of Australia’s largest independent coal producers.

Maules Creek can lift its semi-soft coking coal coal production up to 84% of total saleable production while Narrabri can lift its PCI coal up to 30% of total saleable production by 2016.

The company also produced high quality thermal coal, he said.

“All mines can produce premium low-ash, high energy, thermal coal,” he said.

“Whitehaven has a diversified, attractive portfolio of producing, development and exploration coal assets.

“It has stable, low risk cash flows from existing open cut operations. There will be substantial growth in future cash flows from the ramp up of Narrabri and development of Maules Creek and Vickery.”

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