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Glencore Xstrata reports H1 2013 production

World Coal,

Glencore Xstrata has announced a 4% increase in coal production in the six months to 30 June compared to the same period last year, as expansion projects in Australia and at the company’s Prodeco mine in Colombia ramped up production of thermal coal. In total, the company produced 67.8 million t of coal.

Australia coal production up

Australian metallurgical coal production increased 21% to 4 million t, driven mainly by productivity improvements at Oaky Creek, combined with geology related issues which impacted production in H1 2012. Yield improvements at Tahmoor also contributed to the higher production in H1 2013.

Australian thermal coal (including semi-soft) production was 28.2 million t, an increase of 15%. The continued ramp up of the Ravensworth North, Rolleston and UIan opencast mines, together with the return to full scale production at Blakefield South in H1 2013 were the main reasons for the higher production.

South African coal production down

South Africa thermal coal production was 21.5 million t, an 8% reduction against the previous year. This was the result of lower production at Tweefontein and Impunzi, following the decision not to develop/process certain areas on account of softer coal prices, plus lower production at Koornfontein (Optimum) due to unfavourable geological conditions in some sectors.


Colombia coal production a mixed bag

Glencore Xstrata’s Colombian coal production was a mixed bag as its Prodeco assets saw an increase in production, but production at Cerrejón was hit by industrial action.

Prodeco’s production increased by 22% to 9.6 million t, in line with its planned expansion. According to the company, the increased volumes and associated productivity resulted in a 12% reduction in unit FOB cash costs. The change from barge to direct loading also helped to reduce costs. The US$ 550 million Puerto Nuevo direct loading port began loading in April 2013 and achieved an average loading rate of 1.6 million tpm.

Cerrejón produced 4.5 million t of coal, 26% below production during the first six months of 2012. The reduction mainly related to the 32 day strike that impacted production in Q1 2013. Following the restart of production, it has been broadly in line with the previous period.

Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland

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