Chief executive Gavin May outlined Gloucester’s view of market conditions this week at the Wilson HTM Focus On Coal conference.
May said currently there was a significant market divergence between premium coking coal and thermal coals, with premium coking coals experiencing sustained demand.
May made clear Gloucester’s preference for producing hard coking coal over semi-soft coking coals and said that looking to next year there would be a greater focus on coal quality.
“Gloucester Coal will reduce ash content on coking coal as a result of the Duralie operation moving back to the north (from the southern end of syncline),” May said.
He said that at Gloucester’s Stratford mine, following the Roseville extension approval, Roseville coal (similar to Avon coal) would be included in the coking coal blend from the 2006 first quarter.
May also aired his view of the investment market, anticipating a strong overreaction to any coal price cuts – as “evidenced already”
He said that after the 2006 contract negotiations, Gloucester’s growth plans and investment would need to be reviewed.