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BHP Billiton sets metallurgical coal production record in FY13/14

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World Coal,

BHP Billiton’s metallurgical coal production exceeded its full year guidance, reaching a record 45 million t in the 12 months to June 2014 – despite the continued oversupply on the global market. The 20% jump in production comes on the back of first production at the Cavel Ridge coal mine, the successful ramp-up of the Daunia mine and record production at the Peak Downs, Saraji, South Walker Creek and Poitrel mines.

Output is also forecast to increase to 47 million t next year as the ramp-up of the US$1.87 billion Caval Ridge coal mine is completed.

In contrast, the company’s thermal coal production was unchanged from the year previous at 73 million t. Records volumes from New South Wales Energy Coal in Australia and Cerrejon in Colombia were offset by lower production in South Africa, which suffered from extended outages at both a local utility and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, and the Navajo coal mine in the US, where production declined following the closure of three units at the Four Corners coal-fired power plant.

A similar level of production is expected over the next 12 months to June 2015. Colombian production will remain down due to drought conditions in the La Guajira region of the country, which have required a drop in production to manage dust emissions

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