Australian mining and metals company South 32 reported a significant fall in thermal coal output in the first quarter of FY2022 (July-September), as no sales of low-margin coal wash material were made in the quarter, with elevated freight rates making them uneconomic.
The company produced 313,000 tonnes of thermal coal over the reporting period, down 38% year on year and a 19% fall from the previous quarter. Sales of thermal coal in the quarter slumped 54% on the year to 218,000 tonnes.
Total coal production was 1.89 million tonnes in the quarter, a 20% decline year on year but rising 9% from last quarter, while total sales declined 12% on the year to 1.71 million tonnes. All coal output came from the Illawarra coal mine.
Metallurgical coal production declined 15% on the year to 1.58 million tonnes in July-September, which however was up 18% from March-June quarter.
South 32 completed the sale of its South African thermal coal assets to Seriti Resources in mid-May, and would shift focus to base metals in the future while investing in low-carbon projects.
The company maintained its FY2022 coal production guidance unchanged at 7.3 million tonnes.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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