Australian coal miner BHP produced 3.58 million tonnes of thermal coal in the fourth quarter of 2020, slumping 41% year on year and 23% month on month, mainly owing to the strike in Cerrejon mine and rainfalls, the company said in its quarterly report on January 20.
Its thermal coal production in New South Wales (NSW) fell 11% on the year and 14% from the previous quarter to 3.2 million tonnes in the quarter. The output from mine slumped 67% year on year and 85% quarter on quarter to only 0.3 million tonnes.
The Cerrejon mine's largest labor union Sintracarbon launched a 91-day strike requesting salary increment. The mine is equally owned by BHP, Anglo American and Glencore.
BHP produced 8.24 million tonnes of thermal coal in July-December last year, slumping 30% year on year, with 6.9 million tonnes from NSW, falling 7% year on year, and 1.4 million tonnes from Cerrejon, tumbling 68% year on year.
The company once lowered its FY 2020-21 (July 2020-June 2021) production guidance from 22-24 million tonnes to 21-23 million tonnes due to the strike.
The report showed the company's met coal production contracted 13% year on year to 9.52 million tonnes in October-December, falling 2% from a quarter ago.
BHP said Saraji and Caval Ridge mines in Queensland state suffered an obvious decline in production due to heavy rainfall brought by La Nina and maintenance in preparation plants.
The company saw its met coal output decline 5% on the year to 19.21 million tonnes in July-December, with its annual guidance unchanged at 40-44 million tonnes.
BHP also said it will keep close attention on impacts of China's ban on Australian coal.
(Writing by Rebecca Liu Editing by Tammy Yang)
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