Queensland miner QCT Resources' fourth quarter shipments fell 16% to 3.82 million tonnes, largely because of ongoing problems at its Kenmare longwall mine.
Production from the company's South Blackwater open cut and the Kenmare underground mine fell 40% during the quarter compared to the previous year.
QCT shipped 1.17 million tonnes from the mines.
"Shipments from South Blackwater continue to reflect reduced production at the Kenmare underground mine, where longwall mining in the first C seam block ceased in late March in preparation for longwall relocation," the company said.
Central Queensland Coal Associates (CQCA) and Gregory joint venture mines, in which QCT has a 32.4% interest, shipped 8.18Mt for the period.
The longwall at the South Blackwater underground mine, Kenmare, remains buried, with retrieval operations continuing slowly. QCT said poor conditions were delaying the removal of longwall equipment and dented profitability in the second half.
To date, tail-gate shields have been removed and remaining shields should be removed by the end of July.
ILN understands that longwall mining will probably resume in block Kenmare 2 by August-September.
Returning to the C Seam where the current problems were encountered appears unlikely.
Kenmare has meanwhile put out to tender the development of a single gateroad as well as extraction of part of the A Seam resource. ILN understands that the strategy will be to complete A Seam reserves, which are not amenable to longwall mining.
General manager, Jim Randell, said whichever contractor won the contract to mine the A seam could elect to mine the reserves any way possible, including by continuous miner or bord and pillar methods.