Whitehaven Coal Sets FY2019 Production Guidance at 22-23Mt 15 Aug 2018
Australian miner Whitehaven Coal has reported its coal production and sales (on a 100% basis) were relatively stable year on year, reaching 22.9Mt and 22.1Mt in the financial year ending March 2018. Full year ROM coal production at Maules Creek was 11.0Mt, an increase of 13% year on year. ROM coal production of 5.7Mt from the smaller open cuts was ahead of budget, while production at Narrabri of 6.3Mt was impacted by several localised weighting events and some mechanical issues on the new 400 metre wide face, each resolved by year end. Unit costs increased to US$62/t due to higher fuel prices, increased contractor costs and lower production from Narrabri during the year. Whitehaven has set a FY2019 guidance for saleable coal production at 22-23Mt. The company expects FY2019 cost excluding royalties to increase to US$64/t due to higher fuel costs and longer hauls at Maules Creek.
China Releases 2018-2019 Autumn and Winter Production Cut Plan for Key Regions 15 Aug 2018
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment has released the 2018-2019 Autumn and Winter Comprehensive Air Pollution Control Action Plan for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Surrounding Areas. The action plan will apply to the “2+26” cities in the region, similar to previous year, while Tianjin and Xingtai were added to the list of key cities. According to the plan, a 50% production cut will be implemented in key cities, based on steel capacity, while other cities will have a production cut of no less than 30%. Enterprises that fail to meet the target will be cut off from power supply. The plan aims to reduce key emissions in the region by 5% year on year from October 2018 to March 2019. Similar policies were implemented last year from mid-November 2017 to mid-March 2018.
Output From Imperial’s Red Chris Down 34% YoY. Cash Costs Up 27% 15 Aug 2018
Imperial Metals has reported copper production of 5.2t (11.5klb) from its Red Chris mine in Canada, down 34% year on year. Cash costs lifted 27% to US$3.14/lb. Mill throughput in May was hampered by a six day unplanned shutdown of the mill due to a bearing failure in the ball mill. Copper recovery fell 4% year on year to 73% on lower-than-expected recoveries from the upper benches of the phase 4 cutback. Imperial noted that it was evaluating the potential for an underground block cave. Red Chris contributed 75% to Imperial’s quarterly group copper output. Red Chris lies within the upper half of AME's copper cash cost curve.
Metro Mining Secures Additional Offtake Agreements for Bauxite Hills Operation 15 Aug 2018
Metro Mining, the owner and operator of the 3Mtpa Bauxite Hills mine has secured two new offtake agreements for sales in 2018 and 2019. The new agreements will see bauxite shipped to Henan province in China which has had domestic supply impacted by recent mine closures. Combined, the agreements account for a total of 780kt and will see 90% of Metro's 2018 planned production sold or contracted and 80% of planned production in 2019. The new agreements also diversify's the company's customer base. Metro Mining has spent over US$26m developing the project which reached first production in early 2018. A further US$55m is planned to ramp up the project to 6Mtpa by 2021.