Xstrata saw a 9% drop in coking coal output in 2012 because of engineering challenges at its Australian operations, it said in its full-year results statement on Tuesday February 12.

The mining major's Australian coking coal output fell to 6.9 million tonnes in 2012, from 7.6 million tonnes in 2011.

Engineering challenges involving the new thin-seam longwall at its Oaky Creek No1 mine offset an increase in production at its Oaky Creek North mine, Xstrata said.

“Remediation works are being finalised by the supplier and production is ramping up,” the company said. 

Xstrata is close to completing its merger with commodities producer, marketer and trader Glencore. The tie-up is awaiting clearance from the Chinese ministry of commerce.

Glencore's production results released on February 12 showed that average realised coking coal export prices fell by 25% in 2012 to $198 per tonne, from $265 per tonne in 2011.

Michelle Madsen 
Twitter: @mmadsen_SF