Rio Tinto’s coal production in Q3 was down on the same period last year, the miner said in its latest quarterly results. Australian coal production was down across the board, while in Mozambique, the company’s operations saw a drop in hard coking coal production by 4%, but thermal coal production was up slightly by 2%.
Australian hard coking coal production totaled just under 1.8 million t for the quarter – 15% down on the previous year, as the company prioritised thermal coal production from a processing plant by-product stream at its Hail Creek mine. Production was also hit by a longwall move at the Kestral South mine.
Soft coking coal production also suffered from the company’s focus on thermal coal production, which offers higher margins in the current price environment.
On the thermal side, despite the loss of 1.8 million t following the sale of the Clermont mine, production was down only 0.8 million t on the back of increased thermal production at Hail Creek and productivity gains in the Hunter Valley.
Overall, production for the first nine months of the year held steady for hard coking coal, despite the drop in Q3, while soft coking and thermal coal production was down only 3%.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/15102014/world-coal-rio-tinto-coal-production-drops-in-q3-2014-coal1409/