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BHP Billiton thermal coal production falls

Published by , Editor
World Coal,

BHP Billiton’s thermal coal production fell 16% in the financial year to June 2016 (FY201), following the sale of the San Juan coal mine in the US. Unfavourable weather in New South Wales and Colombia also hit output, as did operational rescheduling at the New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) mines.

Thermal coal production slid to 34 million t in FY2016 with production in the three months to June falling to just under 7 million t – a 34% decline year on year and 12% reduction on the March quarter. In FY2015, the company produced 41 million t of thermal coal.

NSWEC production fell 13% due to heavy rainfall, the progression through a higher-strip ration zone and rescheduling of the mine plan. NSWEC production was 17.1 million t over the financial year, compared to 19.7 million t the year before.

Output in the June quarter dipped below 4 million t compared to production of 5.1 million in the June 2015 quarter.

Meanwhile a combination of drought followed by heavy rainfall hit operations at Cerrejon. BHP Billiton’s share of Cerrejon production was down 11% year-on-year at 10.1 million t. The Colombian mine is co-owned with Anglo American and Glencore.

Production is forecast to fall to 32 million t in FY2017 as the company completes the sale of the Navajo mine to in New Mexico to the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. Navajo production fall 18% in FY2016 on the back of the lower customer demand.

The sale of the Navajo mine will complete the company’s withdrawal from the US coal sector, following the completion of the sale of San Juan mine to Westmoreland Coal Co. in January 2016.

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