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Xstrata coal production rises

Coal “’ accounted for
49% of Xstrata’s 2008
operating profit
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 29 July 2009 – Mining group Xstrata Plc has posted an 11% rise in first-half production of coal “’ its most profitable commodity “’ while its copper output has added 1%.

In a statement released here, Xstrata “’ the world’s fifth biggest diversified mining group by market value “’ said coal production during the six months to 30 June 2009 had increased to 43.8 million tonnes from 39.6 million in the same period last year.

The group, which is the world’s largest exporter of coal for power plants, explained that stronger output of coal in Australia had more than compensated for weaker production in South Africa, due to the planned closure of the Impunzi underground mine and strikes.

The statement revealed that coal accounted for 49% of 2008 operating profit, copper made up 32%, while the alloys division, which makes ferrochrome, was responsible for 14%.

It added that first half mined copper output had risen 1% to 447 509 tonnes, while ferrochrome production had shed 60% to 244 000 tonnes, after the group had suspended 80% of capacity late last year due to low prices.

Mined nickel output rose 7% to 28 505 tonnes and zinc in concentrate production jumped 30% to 493 808 tonnes, due to the restructuring and expansion of the Mount Isa operations in Australia.