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Rio Tinto 3Q15 coal production results

Published by
World Coal,

Rio Tinto has released its 3Q15 production results. Results indicate higher coal production compared to the same quarter last year.

Rio Tinto CEO, Sam Walsh, said: “We continue to deliver efficient production, rigorous cost control and sound allocation of capital. This approach is ensuring that our tier one assets generate substantial free cash flow even during a challenging economic environment.

Hard coking coal product in the first nine months was 10% higher compared to the same period last year. The company reports this to be a result of improved production rates at Kestrel underground mine. 3Q15 tonnage was 12% lower than 2Q15 because Kestrel had a scheduled longwall changeover.

Thermal coal production, however, was 6% lower than the same period last year. Rio Tinto has indicated that this is due to the Hunter Valley receiving wet weather earlier this year and partially offset by greater tonnage at Hail Creek coal mine.

The company reported that semi-soft coking coal production saw a 15% increase compared to the same nine months of 2014, which is reported to be a reflection of mine production sequencing at Hunter Valley operations.

The company has refined its portfolio with the binding agreement to sell its interest in the Bengalla thermal coal joint venture to New Hope Corp. for AUS$606 million. This sale is projected to close in 1Q16.

Rio Tinto’s share of coal production is unchanged for 2015 and the company has indicated it expects shares to be 18 – 19 million t of thermal coal, 3 – 3.4 million t of semi-soft coking coal and 7.1 – 8.1 million t of hard coking coal.

Edited from oress release by Harleigh Hobbs

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