Whitehaven Coal has released its results for the first quarter of 2018 with highlights including a reduction in total recordable injuries rate and a new record high for the company’s coal production at Maules Creek Mine.
Whitehaven Coal’s total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) at the end of March was 5.51 per million hours worked, which is the lowest recorded by the company.
Coal Sales and Pricing
Managed coal sales, including sales of purchased coal, for the March quarter were 5.4 million t, up 10% on the previous corresponding period. Equity coal sales, including purchased coal, in the March quarter were 4.2 million t, up 11% on the previous corresponding period.
Maules Creek Mine
Run-of-mine (ROM) coal production from Maules Creek for 1Q18 established a new record of 2.901 million t, up 11% on the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production for the quarter was 2.676 million t, up 7% on the previous corresponding quarter. Coal sales for the quarter were 2.55 million t, up 16% on the previous corresponding quarter. Metallurgical coal sales of 0.647 million t in the March quarter represented 25% of the total sales from the mine.
ROM coal production for 1Q18 was 1.219 million t, 11% lower than the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production for the quarter was 1.149 million t and coal sales were 1.141 million t. ROM coal production at Narrabri in the March quarter was constrained by two factors. AFC gearboxes on the longwall suffered mechanical problems, which reduced production for the period. Secondly, localised weighting events slowed the retreat of the longwall. As a consequence of the March quarter production delays, longwall production in LW108 panel is now expected to commence in July. Production guidance for the mine for FY2018, is expected to be in the range of 6.1 million t - 6.3 million t ROM coal which is in line with guidance provided with the half year results. Production guidance of 7.7 million t ROM coal for FY2019 remains unchanged. Roadway development for the March quarter was 3679 m.
Gunnedah Open Cuts
Tarrawonga, Rocglen, and Werris Creek and the rehabilitation programme at Sunnyside produced a record 1.774 million t of ROM coal for 1Q18 compared to 1.695 million t in the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production for the quarter was 1.415 million t and coal sales for the period were 1.397 million t. The totals were 13% and 20%, respectively higher than for the previous corresponding period. Tarrawonga Mine Tarrawonga produced 0.612 million t of ROM coal in the quarter. Saleable coal production and coal sales for the quarter were 0.553 million t and 0.644 million t t respectively. Both are new quarterly records for the mine Rocglen Mine Rocglen produced 0.340 million t ROM coal for the quarter. Saleable coal production and coal sales for the quarter were 0.266 million t and 0.267 million t respectively.
Werris Creek Mine Werris Creek produced 0.715 million t of ROM coal in the quarter. Saleable coal production and coal sales for the quarter were 0.538Mt and 0.462 million t respectively.
Sunnyside Mine Coal mining in support of the mine closure Mining Operations Plan commenced at the Sunnyside open cut. Sunnyside had been on care and maintenance since November 2012. ROM coal production for the quarter was 122 kt, saleable coal production was 58 kt and coal sales were 23 kt. Coal produced from Sunnyside is a by-product of the rehabilitation programme to return the site to a post-mining landform. Margins earned from the Sunnyside rehabilitation will be retained in the provision for rehabilitation.
Work to finalise the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) documents continues. The EIS has been revised to include updated noise and dust modelling brought about when Whitehaven advised in December 2017 that it would remove the Bluevale Pit from the Vickery 10 million tpy project. The updated modelling also incorporates recent favourable changes to Government policy on industrial noise requirements.
Timing for start-up of the Vickery project remains market dependent, but will likely occur once Maules Creek has been fully ramped up to its 13 million tpy capacity. Discussions with numerous parties who have expressed interest in becoming joint venture partners will commence following the lodgment of the EIS.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/18042018/whitehaven-coal-1q18-results/