Whitehaven quarterly report indicates coal production increase
Published by Louise Mulhall,
Safety performance across the group continued to improve with Whitehaven’s TRIFR of 6.75 recordable injuries per million hours worked at the end of September declining from 7.42 at the end of June.
Four of Whitehaven’s operations have not recorded a recordable injury for over a year. Whitehaven’s TRIFR remains well below the NSW coal mining average of 14.67.
Managed coal sales, including sales of purchased coal, for the September quarter were 6.1 million t, up 21% on the previous corresponding period, and well ahead of the previous quarterly record of 5.5 million t. The strong sales performance was underwritten by record quarterly railings of over 6 million t, also materially above the previous quarterly record of 5.4 mlilion t. Coal sales in the quarter comprised 13% metallurgical coal and 87% thermal coal. Equity coal sales, including purchased coal, in the September quarter were 4.7Mt, up 23% on the previous corresponding period and comprised 72% high CV thermal, 13% metallurgical coal and 15% low CV thermal coal.
Maules Creek mine
Whitehaven 75% As expected Maules Creek continues to establish new ROM and saleable coal production records. ROM coal production from the mine for the quarter was 2.599 million t up 37% on 1.900 million t produced in the previous corresponding period. The mine operated at 10.5 million tpy rate, its current capacity for the quarter. The next step up in production will occur in early FY2019 when additional mining equipment is planned to be added to the fleet. Saleable coal production for the quarter was 2.436 million t, up 38% on the previous corresponding quarter. Coal sales for the quarter were 2.392 million t, up 21% on the previous corresponding quarter. Metallurgical coal sales of 0.382Mt in the September quarter represented 16% of the total sales from the mine.
Whitehaven 70% Mining in panel LW107 progressed successfully through the fault zone with production exceeding expectations. ROM coal production for the quarter was 2.237 million t and within 5% of the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production for the quarter was 2.128 million t, modestly lower than for the previous corresponding period. Coal sales were 2.017 million t, up 7% compared to the previous corresponding period. Roadway development for the September quarter was 5458 m. Construction of the new ventilation shaft is progressing with the pilot hole for the shaft completed during the quarter. WHITEHAVENCOAL.COM.AU A drilling programme which forms part of the usual gas drainage process has been refined to assist in determining the fault displacement in LW110 and LW111 is underway with results expected early in calendar 2018.
Gunnedah open cuts
Tarrawonga, Rocglen and Werris Creek produced 0.899 million t of ROM coal for the quarter compared to 1.185 million t in the previous corresponding period. Production from all mines was lower as shift rosters returned to normal following the strong finish to the previous financial year. Saleable coal production was 1.312 million t, up 12% and coal stocks at the three mines fell by 0.605 million t from the end of June. Coal sales were 1.374 million t up 20% respectively on the previous corresponding period. Tarrawonga Mine Whitehaven 70% Tarrawonga produced 0.475 million t of ROM coal in the quarter compared to 0.503 million t in the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production was 0.576 million t for the quarter, up 12% from the previous corresponding period. Coal sales for the period were 0.592 million t, up 13% from the previous corresponding period. Rocglen Mine Rocglen produced 0.223 million t ROM coal for the quarter compared to 0.326Mt in the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production and coal sales for the quarter were 0.207 million t and 0.223 million t respectively. Werris Creek Mine Werris Creek produced 0.201Mt of ROM coal in the quarter compared to 0.356 million t in the previous corresponding period. Saleable coal production and coal sales for the quarter were 0.529 million t and 0.559 million t, higher by 21% and 46% respectively compared to the previous corresponding quarter. Sunnyside Mine Mining has recommenced at the Sunnyside open cut which has been on care and maintenance for an extended period. A total of 0.8 million t of coal will be mined over the next two years as part of rehabilitating the site. Blasting at the mine commenced in late September and coal production will recommence during the December quarter.
Work on the detailed documentation for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for Government approval of an expanded Vickery mine (10 million tpy) is substantially complete. The EIS document and supporting documents are due to be lodged upon completion of some final optimisation work. It is anticipated that the EIS will be lodged shortly. Discussions with numerous parties who have expressed interest in becoming joint venture partners will commence following the lodgment of the EIS. 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 13Mtpa capacity. CORPORATE There are US$84.0 million in forward A$/$US exchange contracts currently in place at an average exchange rate of A$1.00 = US$0.7881. These contracts are deliverable between October 2017 and March 2018.
Coal prices: equity
The recently implemented index based quarterly benchmark pricing for metallurgical coal saw September quarter hard metallurgical coal prices finally agreed in early September, following the publishing of the lagging three monthly average. Pricing agreement for semi soft coking coal and low volatile PCI followed the HCC settlement with prices of US$120.00/t and US$127.50/t respectively (both down 5% on prior quarter). This backward looking index linked pricing mechanism appears likely to continue, although it is expected in time that the quotation period will be modified so that there can be a known price at the commencement of each shipping quarter – similar to the iron ore pricing formula. As it stands, the benchmark price for the current December quarter will be determined in early December once the average of September, October and November price indexes are published.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/12102017/whitehaven-quarterly-report-indicates-coal-production-increase/
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