Universal posts record sales, production up 10%

BY: ESMARIE SWANEPOEL
CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR DEPUTY EDITOR: AUSTRALASIA

South Africa-focused Universal Coal on Tuesday reported record coal sales of 679 000 t and a 10% increase in production following the commissioning of the New Clydesdale colliery (NCC), in Mpumalanga.

Run-of-mine (RoM) coal production increased to 1.2-million tonnes during the December quarter, up from the 1.1-million tonnes in the previous quarter.

The Kangala colliery delivered 896 000 t RoM during the three months, down 17% from the previous quarter; however, Universal said that with increased yields of about 68% at the plant for the quarter, domestic sales from Kangala were in line with the previous quarter.

The NCC delivered 396 000 t during the quarter.

Universal sold 572 000 t into the domestic market and exported 107 000 t in the December quarter.

Operating cash flow increased by 52% quarter-on-quarter to A$4.9-million.

“We are making great strides towards becoming a sustainable, midtier coal mining company,” CEO Tony Weber said on Tuesday.

“Our current priority is to bring both the opencast and underground operations at NCC to steady state this year. We are glad to confirm that opencast operations have commenced, having secured a long-term export coal supply agreement with an expected ramp-up period of six months.

“Our underground operation is nearing steady state capacity,” Weber said.

Meanwhile, Kangala also continued its upward trend, with Universal expecting production of 3.2-million tonnes for the full year.