White­haven, Yan­coal daz­zle with bumper re­sults

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - REUBEN ADAMS NA­TIONAL

AUS­TRALIA’s big­gest coal pro­duc­ers con­tinue to roll out record-break­ing re­sults on the back of global mar­ket price im­prove­ments and de­mand for high-qual­ity cok­ing and thermal coals.

Top in­de­pen­dent pro­ducer White­haven Coal re­ported a record net profit of $525.6 mil­lion for FY18, as pro­duc­tion of 22.9 mil­lion tonnes (mt) and sales of 22.1mt were in line with and 7 per cent higher re­spec­tively than FY17.

This re­flected the on­go­ing ramp up of Maules Creek (11mtpa, up 13 per cent on FY17) and strong per­for­mance from the Gunnedah open cuts.

White­haven’s cok­ing coal sales rep­re­sented 17 per cent of to­tal sales for the year.

Unit costs “re­mained in the best quar­tile” but in­creased to $62/t due to higher fuel prices, in­creased con­trac­tor costs, and lower pro­duc­tion from Narrabri dur­ing the year.

The com­pany said FY19 guid­ance for saleable coal pro­duc­tion would be in the range of 22mt to 23mt, while costs were likely to “in­crease mod­estly to $64/t ex­clud­ing roy­al­ties due to higher fuel costs and longer hauls at Maules Creek”.

The White­haven Board pro­posed an un­franked div­i­dend of 27 cents per share to share­hold­ers, com­pris­ing a fi­nal div­i­dend of 14 cents and a spe­cial div­i­dend of 13 cents.

Aus­tralia’s big­gest coal pure-play Yan­coal has com­pleted its turn­around, re­port­ing a be­fore-tax profit of $539m for the half year ended 30 June; a mas­sive im­prove­ment on the $18 mil­lion loss for the pre­vi­ous cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod.

This im­proved fi­nan­cial per­for­mance was driven by sus­tained high pro­duc­tion rates at the tier-one Moolar­ben, Hunter Val­ley Op­er­a­tions and Mount Thor­ley Wark­worth joint ven­ture op­er­a­tions.

“The 2017 ac­qui­si­tion of Coal & Al­lied con­tin­ues to prove Yan­coal’s strate­gic fore­sight in ne­go­ti­at­ing a com­mer­cially as­tute deal ca­pa­ble of strength­en­ing our scale of op­er­a­tions, in prepa­ra­tion for the global coal mar­ket’s even­tual re­turn,” Yan­coal chair­man Bao­cai Zhang said.

The com­pany an­nounced a maiden in­terim div­i­dend to­talling $130 mil­lion (un­franked).

Im­age:White­haven.

White­haven Coal chief Paul Flynn.

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