Australia-based Whitehaven Coal Ltd. posted a 29% jump in fourth-quarter coal production, beating estimates. Whitehaven said saleable coal output jumped to 6.2 million metric tons (mt) for the quarter from 4.8 mt for the same period a year earlier. This was due to higher production at the Narrabri mine.
The miner said uncertainty surrounding future Chinese import quotas weighed on coal prices in the June quarter, despite high imports of Australian thermal and metallurgical coal to China in the second half of fiscal year 2020.
Prices for Whitehaven’s thermal coal, used in power generation, slid to $59 per mt from $84 a year earlier.
Coal prices have slumped as coronavirus-fueled curbs have disrupted industrial activity in most countries, including top importers Japan and India.
Whitehaven’s pulverized coal (PCI) shipments to India were deferred after customers declared force majeure due to the coronavirus.
The miner also finalized a A$51.7 million ($36 million) debt export credit agency facility for eight years during the quarter with two Japanese banks and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance Co.
Due to subdued market conditions, the miner said it would remain cautious in allocating capital to expansion and that it did not expect to consider a final investment decision about its Vickery project in 2020.