PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Coal miner Bathurst Resources has reported reduced earnings and revenue for the first half of the 2021 financial year, as its export business continued to face significant challenges.
Revenue for the six months under review declined to NZ$97.8-million, compared with the NZ$129.3-million in the previous corresponding period, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) declined from NZ$41.9-million to NZ$26.8-million in the same period.
Coal production from the export operation declined in the six months under review from 515 000 t in the first half of 2020, to 428 000 t, while coal sales declined from 637 000 t to 529 000 t.
For the domestic operations, coal production increased from 554 000 t to 581 000 t during the same period, while sales declined from 581 000 t to 504 000 t.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and more recently China’s ban on Australian coking coal imports have sustained the downward pressure on export pricing, which dropped to an average hard coking coal benchmark of $113/t during the first six months of 2021, compared with $159/t in the previous period,” said Bathurst CEO Richard Tacon.
“We had allowed for a further decrease in export pricing. However, we have had to revise our full year Ebitda guidance from NZ$62.1-million to NZ$55.4-million as the expected pricing recovery is only now starting to be realised.
“With the pricing benchmark reaching a high of $161/t in recent weeks, we are optimistic that the expected earnings increase in the second half will eventuate.”
Post the interim period, Bathurst announced plans to close its Canterbury coal mine, in New Zealand, citing ongoing costs and the delays associated with obtaining regulatory consent for the current operations, as well as an inability to reach an agreement on longer-term economic solutions with local regulatory bodies.