Australia-based coal producer Yancoal has published its latest quarterly report for the quarter ending June 2018.
Yancoal operations for the quarter produced a total 12.70 million t saleable coal, up 129% on the year prior (9.16 million t equity share), maintaining consistently strong extraction and throughput rates at all three tier-one assets throughout the reporting period. Total sales volume (equity share) was 9.92 million t, up 96% on the year prior.
Moolarben saleable coal production stood at 4.08 million t for the reporting period, up 33% on the year prior, with the opencast and underground operations maintaining high production rates established in the first quarter of the year, and maximising increased rail availability. Moolarben remains on track to commence the first scheduled longwall move at its underground mine during the second half of the year. Mount Thorley Warkworth continued to meet production and throughput targets throughout the reporting period, achieving saleable coal production of 2.99 million t. In April, Mount Thorley Warkworth implemented its second round of fleet roster restructures to improve operational efficiencies.
On 4 May, Yancoal announced the completion of its 51:49 unincorporated joint venture (JV) with Glencore concerning its Hunter Valley operations, as announced 27 July 2017, following satisfaction of all remaining conditions precedent. From the date of completion, the Hunter Valley operations JV is now jointly controlled by Yancoal and Glencore through a Joint-Venture Management Committee (JVMC), and managed by an independent management team appointed by the JVMC. For the quarter, Hunter Valley operations achieved strong production rates with saleable coal standing at 3.52 million t for the reporting period.
The JVMC has subsequently commenced a review of the operations to consider opportunities to improve operational efficiencies and will pursue potential operational synergies identified under the terms of the transaction documents. Stratford Duralie saleable coal production was in accordance with expectations, as mining activity at the Duralie mine continues to wind down and operational focus moves to the commencement of production of the 1.2 million tpa Run of Mine coal (ROM) at the Stratford extension project in the latter half of the year. Stratford Duralie achieved 0.12 million t, down 19% on the year prior.
In Queensland, the Yarrabee opencast mine continues to meet production forecasts, having overcome wet weather conditions experienced during the previous three-month reporting period, and maintained strong production rates to achieve saleable coal production of 0.77 million t, up 23% on the year prior. Yarrabee continues to adjust product types to capitalise on increasing market demand and pricing opportunities for PCI coal. The Middlemount JV produced 1.06 million t, up 24% on the previous year, benefitting from sustainable production rates and improved weather conditions.
Saleable coal production at the Watagan-controlled Ashton underground mine was 0.13 million t, down 38% on the previous year. This was attributable to the completion of a scheduled longwall move, followed by commissioning and ramp up of production for the second half of the year. Saleable coal production at the Watagan-controlled Austar underground operation was 0.04 million t, down 94% on the previous year as a result of ongoing regulatory action prohibiting longwall mining, following dynamic coal bursts at the longwall face. Austar continues to await a decision from the New South Wales Resources Regulator to enable the recommencement of longwall mining.
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