Herald Sun

MIXED BAG FOR WHITE­HAVEN

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SALES are on the rise at White­haven Coal but the miner ex­pects prices to keep fall­ing.

White­haven chalked up a 46 per cent im­prove­ment in coal sales in the three months to June, due mainly to in­creased pro­duc­tion at its Narrabri mine and the com­mis­sion­ing of its con­tro­ver­sial Maules Creek pro­ject.

More than 1.4 mil­lion tonnes of coal was pro­duced at Maules Creek dur­ing the pe­riod and pro­duc­tion will soon be ramped up to an an­nual rate of 8.5 mil­lion tonnes, it said.

But coal prices have con­tin­ued to fall due to an over­sup­ply in the mar­ket and lower Chi­nese de­mand, though White­haven said it had been shielded some­what by the high qual­ity of its ther­mal coal, which is used to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity.

The av­er­age ther­mal coal price re­alised by the com­pany was $82.3 per tonne in the June quar­ter, down from $88.6 in the three months to March.

The av­er­age June quar­ter price for its met­al­lur­gi­cal coal, used by the steel in­dus­try, was $103 per tonne, down from $118 in the pre­ced­ing quar­ter.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Flynn tipped prices for met­al­lur­gi­cal coal to fall fur­ther in the Septem­ber quar­ter, in the range of $95 to $102 a tonne. “Cer­tainly, our forecast for the Septem­ber quar­ter is a fur­ther re­duc­tion,” Mr Flynn said.

White­haven shares dropped 8c, or 6.4 per cent, to $1.165.

 ?? Pic­ture: PAUL MATHEWS ?? White­haven Coal's Maules Creek mine.
Pic­ture: PAUL MATHEWS White­haven Coal's Maules Creek mine.

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