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Vale’s coal production creeps up in Q3

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World Coal,

Brazilian diversified miner Vale has announced coal production of 2.3 million t in Q3, up 5.9% on the previous quarter as output at Carborough Downs, Moatize and Issac Plains strengthened.

In Australia, production Carborough Downs hit 620,000 t – 4.9% higher than the previous quarter and huge 51.5% higher than the same quarter in 2013, following a longwall move in Q1. “Production was supported by improved mining conditions and equipment reliability in Q3”, the company said in a statement.

Isaac Plains produced 295,000 t, up from 197,000 t in the second quarter on the back of consistent equipment reliability and favourable weather conditions. Despite the strong performance, the mine will be placed into care and maintenance and production will be ramped down over Q4, following the Integra mine, which ceased coal production in Q3 after it was placed into care and maintenance in Q2.

In Mozambique, the Moatize mine produced 1.3 million t of coal – 0.8 million t of metallurgical coal (up 16.1% on Q2) and 0.5 million t of thermal coal (up 2.4% on Q2).

Ramp-up of the mine is still, however, being held back by limitations to the logistics infrastructure, which is delaying the push up to the mine’s nominal capacity of 11 million tpa. The start-up of operations on the Nacala logistics corridor – slated for the end of this year – should help to eliminate these problems. The Nacala project will take coal from Vale’s Mozambique mine to a new deep-water port at Nacala-a-Velha, crossing southern Malawi with 682 km of revamped railway and 230 km of new line.

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