Whitehaven Coal has recorded an increase in coal output following the release of their September quarterly report.
The company indicated a ROM coal production of 5.4Mt, a 41 per cent increase compared to the previous corresponding period (pcp).
Its Maules Creek mine produced 1.900MTt ROM coal, up 23 per cent from 1.549Mt during the same time last year. The site’s saleable coal production for the quarter was 1.972Mt compared to 1.479Mt during the pcp. Additonally, the company is planning to ramp up ROM coal production to 10.5Mtpa at the site in the second half of the 2017 financial year.
Whitehaven’s Narrabri mine produced 2.353Mt of ROM coal during the September quarter, 136% higher than in the pcp. Its saleable coal production was 2.223Mt, a 41 per cent increase compared to 1.573Mt during the pcp.
The company’s three Gunnedah open cut mines, however, produced 1.185Mt of ROM coal for the quarter slightly less than the 1.319Mt in the pcp.
On top of the overall increased output, the company improved their safety performance, recording a total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) of 9.9 recordable injuries per million hours worked at the end of September, compared to 10.6 at the end of June.
This rate is also lower than NSW coal mining average of 15.5.
The company achieved an average price of US$70/t in the September quarter from sales of metallurgical coal products.
In terms of the coal outlook, the company indicated an increase in coal prices due to China’s crackdown on coal supply.
“While underlying demand has been strong, the recent higher pricing has been accelerated by the implementation of the Chinese Government policy supply side reform targeting the closure of some high cost, inefficient and environmentally lower quality production capacity from Chinese supply,” Whitehaven said.
They also expect pricing for metallurgical coal products in the December quarter to be higher than the September quarter.