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Blackwater is 'smashing' records

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's Blackwater open cut coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin has broken six production records since the downturn in coal markets began, according to a report.

Blair Price
Blackwater is 'smashing' records

The mine’s general manager Frans Knox told Central Queensland News that Blackwater had been bounding away in the challenging times.

"We've got seven draglines on site and we're smashing production; we've smashed drill and blast, we've smashed pre-strip,” Knox said.

The mine’s prime coal haulage has hit 14.87 million tonnes, beating the 2003 record of 14.14Mt.

BMA’s external affairs head Vincent Cosgrove told the newspaper that BMA was looking at areas where it could further increase productivity.

The cost competitiveness of BMA and other Australian coking coal operations is becoming apparent.

Last month Macquarie Private Wealth said Chinese coking coal imports were down 14% year-on-year in July while they were down more than 12%, or 5Mt, on a year-to-date basis.

“Interestingly, imports from the two largest suppliers, Australia and Mongolia, are up 8% and 24% year-to-date respectively,” MPW said.

“The big falls have come from Canada, the US and Russia, illustrating the difficulty these producers face selling into Asia given weak pricing and a substantial freight disadvantage shipping into Asia.”

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