In a press release entitled “Facing the Challenges”, Vale announced “solid” third quarter results, “dealing successfully with a challenging environment through operational flexibility and [a] wealthy endowment of mineral resources”.
Vale coal production – Moatize, Mozambique
Vale’s third quarter coal output reached 1.7 million t, 8.6% below the previous quarter, mainly due to the slower pace of the ramp-up of Moatize. The production of metallurgical coal totalled 1.2 million t, a record high for a third quarter, while the output of thermal coal was 524,000 t.
The ramp-up of the first phase of the Moatize coal project, in Tete, Mozambique, was slowed due to constraints in logistics. Capacity at the Linha do Sena railway is expected to be expanded in the fourth quarter, as the enhancement in track signaling has been completed, allowing for faster train speed and transportation of larger volumes of metallurgical coal production by year-end.
Output of hard coking coal and thermal coal at Moatize was 624,000 t and 365,000 t,
respectively. There was a slight increase in the share of thermal coal in total output, to
37% from 35% in the second quarter, as metallurgical coal cannot be kept in inventory for a long period due to the risk of losing quality.
Vale coal production – Integra Coal, Australia
Production of metallurgical and thermal coal at Integra Coal in Australia was 285,000 t and
78,000 t, respectively. Metallurgical coal output increased from the previous quarter due to continuous improvement in geological conditions in both the underground and opencast operations. There was a striking increase compared to the third quarter 2011, when production was impacted by the longwall move, which started in the second quarter 2011.
Thermal coal output decreased to 78,000 t, from 121,000 t in the second quarter 2012.
Vale coal production – Carborough Downs, Australia
Operations at Carborough Downs were resumed at the end of August, after the stoppage determined by the detection of abnormal levels of carbon monoxide in the mine. Output reached 131,000 t versus 82,000 t in the second quarter as the operation is still ramping up.
Coal production at other mines totalled 169,000 t of metallurgical coal and 81,000 t of thermal coal.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.