PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Coal miner Whitehaven Coal has reported a 5% increase in run-of-mine (RoM) coal production and a 14% increase in saleable coal production for the three months to September, compared with the previous corresponding period.
The company on Thursday announced that RoM coal production for the September quarter reached 5.7-million tonnes, while saleable coal production hit a record 5.9-million tonnes.
Coal sales for the September quarter were also up by 21% on the previous corresponding period, to a record 6.1-million tonnes, with Whitehaven achieving an average price of $109/t during the September quarter.
Looking ahead, the miner was optimistic that thermal coal prices would increase over the next year, as rolling industrial activity in Australia and severe weather conditions earlier in this year, limited exports.
Whitehaven pointed out that Indonesia was also impacted by wet weather conditions, which also constrained coal exports from that country. The company noted that with the two largest seaborne thermal coal exporters unable to respond to the strong demand, coal prices had risen across the board.
Meanwhile, hard coking coal prices have also been trading above expectations in recent months; however, this could change if steel production in China is cut during the winter months.
Whitehaven told shareholders that the flow-on was likely to be less draw on the seaborne market, and moderating prices for metallurgical coals over the next six to 12 months.