Anglo American coal output dips with Grosvenor suspension

The Grosvenor operation in Queensland. Image: Anglo American

Anglo American has reported a 33 per cent drop in its export metallurgical coal production in the December quarter compared with the prior corresponding period.

The company delivered nearly 4.2 million tonnes in the December quarter, down from 6.3 million tonnes during the previous period in 2019.

This is attributed to the suspension of the Grosvenor metallurgical coal mine in Queensland since an underground gas explosion occurred in May last year.

Anglo American stated last year that it was targeting a safe resumption of operations at Grosvenor during the second half of this year.

The impact of its inactivity is augmented by geotechnical challenges faced at the company’s Moranbah mine in Queensland, which have pushed quarterly production down.

At the Dawson and Capcoal metallurgical and thermal coal mines in Queensland, open cut operations have been scaled back due to softer demand for lower quality coking coal.

Despite this, Anglo American is maintaining its production guidance for metallurgical coal this year at 18-20 million tonnes.

The company has also suffered a hit in its thermal coal output, delivering 4.4 million tonnes during the December period.

This is a 35 per cent drop from the prior corresponding period, leading to an overall production decline of 22 per cent to 20.6 million tonnes last year.

Anglo American expects its output to rise in 2021, targeting a production of around 24 million tonnes this year.

The company’s Australian thermal coal prices last year were 17 per cent lower than 2019, with $US58 ($75.5) per tonne achieved throughout the 2020 financial year.

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