The total, met in the quarter ended in June, was up 47% year-over-year and was a 35% increase over the previous quarter.

Total coal sales were also up quarter-on-quarter, coming in 39% higher than the previous quarter at about 609,000 tons (up 20% versus the same period in 2015). Whole-year, Kangala produced more than 3 million mt, and sold more than 2 million mt.

“Having concluded the pit reconfiguration, Kangala is now firing on all cylinders and delivering record production in the process,” CEO Tony Weber said. “We anticipate increasing production further in the year ahead, thereby delivering strong sales and cashflow to pay down debt facilities and to fund growth prospects.”

Universal noted that, with the country’s dry season half over, the climate is expected to support continued strong production for the months ahead.

Elsewhere in its portfolio, the miner said it is ready to begin commissioning underground operations at the New Clydesdale colliery; it is expecting first coal by the end of the current quarter and is projecting 2 million mt of production annually.