Coal sales for the 2005 financial year were 2 million tonnes, a 26% increase on 2004.
Flagship Queensland opencut mine Yarrabee produced 1.8Mt ROM coal but sales were down for the quarter compared with 2004, attributed to the lack of rail surge capacity.
Production at the New South Wales Ashton opencut picked up following the removal of mining contractor Henry Walker Eltin in mid-April, Felix said. Felix acquired an 80% stake in Ashton this year following the acquisition of White Mining.
Ashton underground pre-development commenced in April with the opening of the Arties Pit portal. Long hole drilling will commence this quarter and the final feasibility study is underway.
Felix said negotiations with equipment suppliers had commenced.
In May, the Ashton joint venturers purchased a third party interest in the Ashton wash plant to facilitate its expansion to support the underground mine.
The Minerva Queensland development, 70% owned by Felix, remains on schedule with full production of 2.5Mtpa scheduled for the 2006 March quarter.