Coal & Allied said output had risen for the December quarter from all mines, other than Bengalla, where mining is moving through an area with a higher strip ratio.
Total coal production increased from 27.2 million tonnes in 2003 to 29.1Mt. Fourth quarter output also rose to 7.4Mt from 7.3Mt in the 2003 fourth quarter.
Annual coal sales lifted to 28.7Mt from 27.9Mt previously but sales through the port of Newcastle in the 2004 fourth quarter were lower than the previous quarter due to vessel presentation and port congestion.
The company’s Hunter Valley operations recorded a big jump in thermal coal output ending the year on a total of 11.2Mt, up on the 9.1Mt produced a year before. Semi-soft coking coal output from Hunter Valley mines totalled 2.1Mt for the year.