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Consol coal production exceeds guidance

World Coal,

US coal and gas producer Consol Energy has produced and sold more gas and coal during the third quarter than expected.

The company announced that its Q3 production this year, at 14.5 million t, including 1.1 million t of low-volatility coking coal from its Buchanan Mine. These figures exceeded Q3 guidance of 13.4-13.9 million t, and production results were achieved despite operational challenges at Consol’s Pennsylvania operations earlier in 2013.

As of September 30, 2013, Consol’s total coal inventory increased by 158 000 t to 1 075 000 t. Thermal coal inventory increased by 198 000 t to 971 000 t, while low-volatility coal inventory decreased by 40 000 t, to 104 000 t.

Consol Energy will formally announce Q3 results on October 31. Currently, the company believes income before tax for the quarter could be positive, after adjusting for several items including pension settlement expenses and consultant fees. However, net income is likely to be a loss for the quarter.

The company expects Q4 coal production to be between 13.6-14.0 million t. If achieved, annual 2013 total coal production will be between 56.7-57.1 million t.

Safety and environmental compliance
Consol’s Coal Division saw safety exceptions in Q3 increase 25%, from 40 to 51 compared to the same quarter of 2012, however severity levels declined. In terms of environmental compliance, the company saw violations decrease by 40% on last year’s figures, from 20 to 12.

Consol’s coal division overcame operational challenges and exceeded previous quarter’s production guidance. “Our ability to craft and execute a plan and to accomplish what we set forth to accomplish, speaks volumes about the dedication of our employees and their commitment to Consol’s success”, commented Jimmy Brock, chief operating officer of coal.

BMX Mine, the company’s last coal growth project, remains on track to commence production in April 2014, bringing an additional 5 million t of coal to the company’s overall production.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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