PETH (miningweekly.com) – Coal miner New Hope Corporation has swung back into the black, with the miner reporting a net profit after tax of A$79-million for the 2021 financial year, compared with a loss of A$157-million in 2020.
While total saleable production for the full year was down 15% on the 2020 figures, to 9.6-million tonnes, and coal sales were down 13% to 10-million tonnes, average sales prices for the year increased by 11% in the same period, to A$101.40/t, New Hope reported.
Production from the New Acland mine was down 39% on the 2020 figures, to 1.8-million tonnes, while production at New Hope’s 80%-held Bengalla mine was also down by 5%, to 7.8-million tonnes owing to the midlife shutdown of the dragline for scheduled maintenance; however, the operation is back to full production and well positioned for the future.
CEO Reinhold Schmidt said the flagship Bengalla operation remained focused on safe, consistent production and maximising low-ash, high energy product, taking advantage of the current rising index price environment.
“As we move into the new financial year, the focus for Bengalla is continuous improvement initiatives that focus on equipment utilisation and productivity while maintaining a safe operating environment for our team.”
Schmidt said the uncertainty of approvals for New Acland Stage 3 and the transition to care and maintenance at New Acland continues to impact the broader business.
“Production has steadily declined at New Acland as existing extraction areas are exhausted and the site moves towards care and maintenance at the end of the 2021 calendar year.
“The workforce at New Acland is doing an outstanding job in the meantime, continuing to safely produce quality coal and expertly managing the ongoing rehabilitation process.”
New Hope subsidiary New Acland Coal currently operates the existing New Acland mine as a 4.8-million-tonne-a-year opencut coal mine, however, the mine’s reserves are depleted. The Stage 3 expansion project will increase the mine’s yearly output to 7.5-million tonnes and will extend the operation’s life by some 12 years beyond the current end-date of mid-2020.
Once approved the New Acland Stage 3 project will create 187 new jobs within the first six months, 487 jobs within 18 months and inject A$7-billion into the economy.
Schmidt said the future for the company remains positive with strong demand for its product to continue and coal prices expected to remain at historically high levels for some time to come.
“The restructure of our corporate office has resulted in a more agile, refocussed and efficient business environment, more suited to the needs of the company overall.
“Sustained cost management across the business will bring a continuation of the improved results we achieved in the second half of this financial year.
“The success of our inaugural convertible notes issue and strong fiscal management have placed the company in a good position to react to future growth opportunities.
“Our focus for the future remains on safe and efficient production at existing operations and a commitment to maintaining long-term relationships with our suppliers and customers.”