BHP Billiton’s 3Q15 metallurgical and thermal coal production was in line with the same period in 2014, the company said in its recent quarterly operational review. Metallurgical coal production was slightly higher than thermal coal at 10.45 million t compared to 9.85 million t for the power plant fuel.
Production for the first nine months of the year now stands at 31.5 million t of metallurgical coal and 30.9 million t of thermal coal.
At the company’s Queensland metallurgical coal operations, record production at the Duania (698 000 t) and South Walker Creek (1.51 million t) mines, supported by increased preparation plant utilisation and yield, helped to offset falls in production at Broadmeadow and Crinum mines, where there were planned longwall moves, and preparation plant shutdowns at Goonyella and Peak Downs.
The Crinum mine is due to close in 1Q16 as it reaches the end of its economic reserve life.
The quarter also saw first production (15 000 t) of metallurgical coal from the Haju mine in Indonesia, were BHP Billiton holds a 75% interest in saleable production.
On the thermal side, production at Cerrajón in Colombia was constrained by drought conditions – but was still 7% higher than in 2014, which was affected by more severe weather. Output was almost 2.53 million t compared to 2.37 million t in 2014 but down from almost 3 million t in 2Q15.
Meanwhile production was down on 2014 at BHP Billiton’s New South Wales and New Mexico coal operations at almost 4.38 million t and 2.68 respectively.
The sale of the San Juan mine in New Mexico to Westmoreland Coal Co. was concluded in July of this year and should be completed by the end of the calendar year. This follows the completion of the sale of the Navajo mine in New Mexico in December 2013 and will mark BHP Billiton’s withdrawal from US coal production.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/21102015/bhp-billiton-coal-production-flat-in-3q15-3046/