Contracts to protect Centennial

CENTENNIAL Coal’s domestic long-term thermal coal contracts would shield it from weakening spot export prices, chairman Kenneth Moss said yesterday at the company’s annual general meeting.
Contracts to protect Centennial Contracts to protect Centennial Contracts to protect Centennial Contracts to protect Centennial Contracts to protect Centennial

Centennial's Mandalong longwall

Angie Tomlinson

“In the context of the recent weakening of the spot export price for thermal coal, it is important to bear in mind that a large proportion of Centennial’s sales are to domestic power generators under secure, long-term Australian-dollar indexed price contracts,” he said.

Centennial chief executive Bob Cameron said after the meeting that although the spot thermal price was currently around $A40, he thought the long-term contract price would be well into the $A40s when negotiations commenced next year.

The New South Wales producer said it was looking forward to a more profitable second half, after an underperforming first half of the fiscal year with problems at its Newstan mine.

“In the 2006 financial year, we expect the result to again reflect this historical pattern, especially as the first half has been significantly overshadowed by the impact of the Newstan production issues,” Moss said.

“As a consequence, the first half result is expected to be substantially lower than that of the previous corresponding period.”

The company has several key expansion initiatives under way, including investigation of export opportunities as Mandalong ramps up to full capacity, the turning around of its recently acquired Tahmoor mine and planned output increases at the Anvil Hill opencut.