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Vale announces record coal production in 2012

World Coal,

Vale achieved new record for coal production in 2012 of 7.1 million t, of which 5.1 million t was metallurgical coal and 2 million t thermal coal. This was a consequence of the ramp-up of Moatize, and the significant improvement in the performance of Integra Coal and other mines in Australia.


In its first full year of operation, Moatize produced 3.768 million t, of which 2.501 million t was metallurgical coal and 1.267 million t was thermal coal. The ramp-up of the first phase of the Moatize coal project, in Tete, Mozambique, is restricted by the availability of railroad and port capacity.

Expected improvements in the Linha do Sena railroad, which is operated by a Mozambican state-owned company, will allow for some increase in the volumes of coal carried by the company’s trains to the Port of Beira.

Given these limitations, Vale has been concentrating shipments on the higher priced Chipanga premium hard coking coal (HCC) and typical HCC. Overall, the conclusion of the Nacala corridor project is critical for the extraction of maximum value from the coal assets in Mozambique, as it will eliminate the logistics bottleneck. The required licenses have already been granted by the governments of Mozambique and Malawi and construction is underway.


Production of Integra Coal rose 65.8% in 2012, with 962,000 t of coking coal and 351,000 t of thermal coal. Coking coal output doubled compared to 2011, due to improving geological conditions in both the underground and opencast mines and the better performance of longwall operations.

Production of the company’s other Australian mines was 1.344 million t, rising 47.9% against 2011. In 4Q4 2012, coal output totalled 2 million t versus 1.7 million t in the previous quarter due to the improved performance of Carborough Downs (CD).

CD, which produced metallurgical coal, increased its output by 185.3% in Q4 2012, to 373,000 t from 131,000 t in Q3 2012. The sharp increase is a consequence of the successful ramp-up from the stoppage of operations in Q2 2012.

Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland.

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