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Yancoal output down but sales up in 2015

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World Coal,

Yancoal has reported a fall in full-year coal production for 2015 with production of 15.26 million t – a 9% fall on last year’s total of 16.74 million t. Full year sales volumes were up, however, by 1% at 17.82 million t.

Strong production gains at the company’s Ashton (8%), Moorlaben (8%) and Middlemount (10%) helped to offset falls in production at Yarrabee, Stratford/Duralie and Donaldson mines that reflected shifting operational priorities.

The quarter also saw the restart of production at the company’s Austar mine after stopping longwall operations in 2014. Total annual production at the mine hit 0.72 million t after a rapid ramp-up in 4Q15, which saw a 175% jump in production on the previous quarter.

Looking forward and Yancoal’s 2016 performance will continue to be challenged by low prices for metallurgical and thermal coal, as well as the impact of China’s import coal quality standards.

These restrictions hit sale volumes of Yarrabbe’s ultra-low volatile semi-anthracite PCI thermal coal in 2015. Despite making adjustments to its processing and blending practices to meet the new standards, the company still believes its sales into China will face continued challenges through 2016.

The company sold 10.21 million t of thermal coal in 2015 and 7.6 million t of metallurgical coal. Yancoal is majority owned (78%) by Chinese coal company, Yanzhou Coal, with Noble Group holding a 12% stake.

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