South32 lowers coal production forecast for its Australian operation
Global diversified miner South32 will deliver less coal this year from its Illawarra metallurgical coal mine in Australia than it forecast in its September quarterly report because of two production disruptions in the past six months.
On October 31, it signalled it could lose about 500,000 tonnes of production from the mining complex because Area 7 of the Appin mine got a temporary certificate of suspension after the failure of a ventilation fan resulted in elevated gas levels. In September production in Area 9 of Appin was affected by roofwall problems.
In its September report, South32 forecast Illawarra would sell 9.3-million tonnes of coal in the current year to June at a unit cost of $71/tonne.
It said on Monday that lllawarra would produce about 7.9-million tonnes of saleable coal and sell about 8.1-million tonnes this year. Operating unit costs in the current six months to December would be $86/tonne. In the six months to June, costs would decline towards $80/tonne, giving an average unit cost of $83/tonne.
In the 2018 financial year, following remedial actions to area 9, Illawarra’s saleable production would rise to about 9-million tonnes at an operating unit cost of about $77/tonne, it said.