New Hope Group has reported solid earnings from its coal operations, driven mainly by increased production at the Bengalla mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.
The company generated a revenue of $618 million in the six months ending January, which was in line with the company’s earnings in the prior corresponding period.
New Hope managing director, Shane Stephan said the solid revenue was achieved despite a 29 per cent decline in coal prices during the six-month period, which the company had offset with 42 per cent higher sales volumes.
This was largely due to the success of the Bengalla coal mine, where New Hope has 80 per cent interest.
New Hope’s share in Bengalla saw a production of 4.3 million tonnes of coal in the six months to January 2020, an increase of 84 per cent on the previous year.
“This saw a corresponding lift in coal sales, both internationally and domestically, with the company exporting 5.8 million tonnes, up 32 per cent on the prior corresponding period and 0.6 million tonnes domestically, up 469 per cent on the prior corresponding period,” said Stephan.
The Bengalla mine was on track for another positive production year, but the second half of 2020 could see lower productions from New Hope due to normal mine sequencing.
Bengalla is a single pit open cut mine located four kilometres south west of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley region. A JORC study in 2014 estimated the mine’s coal reserves at 269 million tonnes, including 163 million tonnes proved and 106 million tonnes probable.
“The company has access to sufficient funds for current and future developments and the industry continues to attract funding both domestically and internationally,” Stephan said.
He added that the results were especially “noteworthy” given the uncertainty within the workforce at the company’s New Acland operations in Queensland.
In October last year, New Hope downsized its operations at the New Acland mine and made 150 workers redundant after its stage three mining project failed to receive the necessary approvals from the Queensland Government.