The company’s immediate focus would be to continue to advance its growth projects at Moolarben and Ashton, chairman Weimin Li told its annual general meeting.
“Looking ahead for the remainder of 2013 in an environment where global coal market conditions remain difficult, both challenges and opportunities emerge,” he said.
“In early 2013, the board approved a longer-term growth plan for the company.
“The expansion and development plans encompass the most attractive growth options available to the company and propose sequential development in line with funding availability, to ensure both short-term profitability and long-term sustainability.”
A business transformation process that encompasses the use of “LEAN” methodology to underground mining had been introduced to its Abel Mine in early 2012 and was showing great promise by reducing costs, improving productivity and safety outcomes at the mine, according to Li.
Following an internal review of the process, Yancoal’s board decided to support the “LEAN” program and recommended for it to be introduced progressively across all of the mine sites.
The company will continue to focus on cost-reduction activities at its mine sites and at head office via the ongoing introduction of the “LEAN” program at each mine, Li said.
“We expect to further improve the management systems and aim to capture additional synergies from the merger [with Gloucester Coal],” he said.
“These activities should lead to improved profitability for the company.”
Synergy opportunities with Gloucester include harmonising procurement for a number of major consumables across the company, developing a blending strategy and bringing forward development of stage 2 of the Moolarben project.
Moolarben made 5.2Mt saleable coal and sold 5.5Mt for the 2012 year as ROM production increased to its fully approved rate of 8Mpta in November and despite a shutdown for two weeks over Christmas.