Johannesburg, South Africa — 02 August 2013 – Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) reports that its production and export sales for the quarter ended June 30 were adversely affected by the suspension and slowdown of export coal mining activities at its South African operations.
This was due to the closure of the Matola rail corridor to Mozambique’s Matola terminal, with total run-of-mine (ROM) coal production tumbling 79% from the previous quarter to 188,921t, according to a report on platts.com.
The producer did not provide year-on-year comparative figures.
The company had been forced to declare force majeure at its Mooiplaats, Woestalleen and Vele collieries in February as a result of a bridge on the railway line to the Matola Terminal collapsing due to a train derailment. The damage was repaired and the line re-opened in April 2013, allowing CoAL to restart exports during May.
The South African junior miner said in its operational report for the fourth quarter of the 2012-13 financial year that the total ROM production comprised 179,603t from the Mooiplaats colliery in the Ermelo coalfield “’ down 4.2% on-quarter, and 9,318t from the Vele colliery in the Limpopo coalfield, falling 88.1%.
No ROM production took place at the Woestalleen complex in the Witbank coal field as the Vuna colliery resource had been depleted.
Total coal produced for sale during the three-month period amounted to 225,655t, plunging 68% on-quarter, including a 97% drop in export coal produced to 10,687t and a 37% fall in middlings production to 214,968t.
Woestalleen produced 91,546t of coal in the January-March period, slipping 83.5% from the March 2103 quarter. The total included 10,598t of coal for export and 80,948t of middlings coal. Mooiplaats production gained 1.7% on-quarter to 134,020t of only middlings coal, while Vele produced just 89t of export coal in the quarter, plunging almost 100% from the previous quarter.
Due to the reduced rail capacity, export sales from the Matola Terminal in Maputo fell 49% on-quarter to 136,372t. Inland sales from Woestalleen and Mooiplaats fell 22% on-quarter to 87,338 t, while sales from the two operations to state-owned utility Eskom were 202,581t, down 30% from the March quarter. Total export and domestic coal sales for the quarter amounted to 426,291t, a 37% drop from the previous quarter.
CoAL executive chairman David Brown commented in the report that the company remained under strain from challenging trading conditions, as coal prices continue to decline. He said this had resulted in it starting Section 189 processes “’ dismissals based on operational requirements “’ at its collieries and head office to rationalise costs.
Source: plats.com. For more information, click here.