Steady growth for Coal & Allied

BETTER weather conditions allowed Coal & Allied to boost production during the June quarter, while total coal sales climbed 14% from the previous three-month period.
Steady growth for Coal & Allied Steady growth for Coal & Allied Steady growth for Coal & Allied Steady growth for Coal & Allied Steady growth for Coal & Allied

Courtesy Coal & Allied

Blair Price

The company’s share of total saleable coal production from its portfolio of mines in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales was 4.44 million tonnes, 5% above the March quarter.

Coal & Allied’s Hunter Valley Operations produced 2.38Mt of thermal coal for the three months to June and 346,000 tonnes of semi-soft coking coal, a slight improvement of 1% on the previous quarter.

The Bengalla mine, 40% owned by the company, produced 1.44Mt of thermal coal while the 80%-owned Mount Thorley Operations produced 478,000t of thermal coal and 157,000t of semi-soft coking coal.

The Warkworth mine, 55.6% owned by Coal & Allied, produced 918,000t of thermal coal and 217,000t of semi-soft coking coal, and was the only operation to not increase its output during the June quarter, with total production slipping by 4000t compared to the March quarter.

Coal & Allied said wet weather continued to affect operations but to a lesser extent than in the first quarter.

With the company increasing metallurgical coal production last year to take advantage of the record high prices, total semi-soft coal output was down 38% to 1.34Mt in the first six months of 2009 compared to the last half of 2008.

The company credited the June quarter spike in coal sales to the timing of higher domestic sales and available port allocation.

“During May, a reduction of 1Mt in the declared coal chain capacity was announced due to a rail outage caused by heavy rains in late March-early April,” Coal & Allied said.

“This will have an impact of approximately 250,000t on Coal & Allied’s annual port allocation for 2009.

“Coal & Allied anticipates that full-year 2009 sales volumes will be in line with the revised port allocation and will be broadly similar to 2008.”

Production and sales bottomed in the March quarter, with total coal output down 10.5% and total coal sales down 16% from the December quarter.

Coal & Allied is 76% owned by Rio Tinto.

Shares in Coal & Allied are unchanged at $A87.