Production down 25%
MIXED messages in latest production report for Curragh mine
Wednesday 27 April 2016
THE latest production figures for the Curragh coal mine near Blackwater has reported major cuts to coal production, and significant increases to overburden removal in the first three months of the year.
The results are to some extent contradicting each other, in so far that increased over-burden removal would typically happen as production increased, however in this case production of coal has been slashed by a quarter at the mine.
Wesfarmers - who own the mine - say the 12 percent increase in overburden removal reflects the fact that they have added extra resources to that area of their business.
However they are blaming the wet season for significant cuts to coal production.
“Coal production for the quarter was 1,837,000 tonnes (comprising 1,191,000 tonnes of metallurgical coal and 646,000 tonnes of steaming coal), 25.5 percent lower than the previous quarter,” they said in a statement
“Significantly lower coal production was a consequence of a number of significant wet weather events that restricted operations at the mine, with in excess of 500 mm of rainfall received in the quarter.
“ As a result, force majeure was declared for the period 4 February through to 1 March 2016 under contracts with affected customers and suppliers.
“For the 12 months to 31 March 2016, metallurgical coal production decreased by 18.3 percent to 7,486,000 tonnes and steaming coal production declined by 1.0 percent to 3,259,000 tonnes.”
The reduction in production is good news for the coal sector overall where a persistent oversupply has kept prices at historic lows.The production report came in the same week as BHP share prices rose an astonishing 30 per cent off the back of a general rally in commodity prices.