Restructuring of the Austar and Abel mines, and a scheduled longwall move at the Ashton mine, saw Yancoal’s 3Q15 production fall 12% to 3.82 million t compared to 3Q15, according to the company’s quarterly report. In total, 225 employers were made redundant at the Austar and Abel mines as the company responded to the continued downturn in the global coal market.
Production at Aston was down 11% on the previous quarter as its strong ramp-up in production was hit by the longwall move. It produced 351 000 t to bring its total production for the year to just under 1 million t at 975 000 t.
Slightly offsetting falls in production elsewhere, Middlemount coal mine in Queensland recorded a 20% jump in production to almost 1.2 million t compared to 997 000 t for the same period in 2014. It was also up 1% on the previous quarter as positive weather conditions aided uninterrupted production and haulage rates. Year-to-date production at Middlemount is also up 20% at almost 3.3 million t from 2.7 million t last year.
Moolaben production was also up – 1% y/y and 4% on the previous quarter to just over 1.7 million t. In the nine months to September, Moorlaben production is up 2% at just under 5.1 million t.
Despite production falls, sales were up 10% overall in the quarter and 8% for the year to September. Quarterly, metallurgical coal sales totaled 2.24 million t – up 16% – while thermal coal sales were up 4% to 2.14 million t.
The quarter also saw the approval of the mining lease and mining operations plan for the Moolarben Stage Two Project by the New South Wales Department of Industry Resources and Energy. Once developed the integrated Moolarben Coal Complex (Stage 1 and Stage 2 combined) will produce up to 17 million tpa ROM for 24 yr.
Yancoal is majority owned by Chinese coal company, Yanzhou Coal, with Noble Group holding a minority interest.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/22102015/yancoal-coal-production-drops-in-3q15-3051/