Record coal price for Whitehaven

A record average coal price of $315 per tonne has highlighted Whitehaven Coal’s performance in the 2022 first quarter.

This compared with a price of $101 per tonne received in the previous corresponding period (PCP) and $204 per tonne for the first half of FY21.

The March quarter managed run-of-mine (ROM) production of 5.2 million tonnes, up 62 per cent on the December quarter and down 5 per cent on PCP, reflecting solid operational performance improvements.

In the same period, saleable coal production of 4.5 million tonnes was up 50 per cent on December and up 5 per cent on PCP,  while sales of produced coal of 4.4 million tonnes were up 5 per cent on PCP, and equity sales of produced coal of 3.5 million tonnes were up 3 per cent on PCP.

Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn said coal prices increased to record levels during the March quarter, and remain very well supported in an environment of strong demand and constrained supply.

“Operational and product quality improvements were delivered in the quarter, while a tight labour market, COVID-related absenteeism and wet weather events slowed operations and disrupted rail and port activities,” he said.

“After buying back $67 million of shares and paying $80 million in dividends in March, the business holds a $161 million net cash positive position.”

Whitehaven is on track to deliver FY22 guidance across its operations at Maules Creek, Narrabri and Gunnedah Open Cut.

It expects to lift June quarter ROM production to between 5.4 and 6.9 million tonnes.

“Confidence in delivering a strong Q4 production result is underpinned by an expected strong final quarter from Maules Creek (in line with previous June quarters) and the improving production rate being achieved at Narrabri (which we have seen during February, March and April),” Flynn said.

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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