Optimum Coal output ‘disappoints’

[miningmx.com] — Optimum Coal Holdings said on Friday it produced 7.441 million tonnes (Mt) of run-of-mine coal in the six months to December 2011, a drop of 15% compared with the previous corresponding period.

Of this, 2.903Mt of export/high quality domestic coal was produced, 20% down on 3.611Mt produced in the previous comparable period, the coal mining and exploration group said in its operational update.

Additionally, 3.018Mt of Eskom quality coal was produced, 11% down on 3.4Mt produced a year ago.

“Generally, our overall production performance for H1, FY2012 was disappointing on the back of production challenges at Optimum Collieries which adversely affected attributable ROM tonnage performance and consequent export sales volumes,” said CEO Mike Teke.

“Optimum Collieries experienced three separate industrial action events during the period which adversely affected production over an aggregate 64-day period during H1, FY2012. Additionally, two large draglines were walked to the Kwagga North section impacting on available digging capacity in our opencast sections.”

The company’s interim results are expected on February 9.