South32 meets mixed performance across Australia

Worlsey Alumina. Image: South32.

South32 has experienced a slide in production at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal in New South Wales in the second half of last year.

The company decreased saleable production at Illawarra by 4 per cent during the period, due to completing a longwall move at the Appin mine in the December quarter.

South32 is set to continue improving development rates at Appin to support the longwall performance and to return to a three longwall configuration at the operation.

Illawarra’s Dendrobium and Appin longwalls continue to perform strongly, according to South32, with a plan for further longwall move in the March quarter.

South32 has also continued its work in increasing the Worsley Alumina operation in Western Australia to nameplate capacity.

The company’s saleable production increased by 1 per cent, or 27,000 tonnes to 1.93 million tonnes in the second half of last year, despite an extended calciner shut.

South32 has scheduled further calciner maintenance at Worsley Alumina for the March quarter, while retaining its 2020 financial year production guidance at 3.965 million tonnes.

In Queensland, South32 has also advanced feasibility study work at the Eagle Downs metallurgical coal project ahead of a final investment decision.

The company plans to make final decision in the second half of this year.

South32 acquired a 50 per cent stake in Eagle Downs from China BaoWu Steel Group in September 2018.

BaoWu subsidiary Aquila Resources holds the remaining 50 per cent interest in the project.

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