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This is as its “workforce numbers were greater than required”, a BHP Billiton spokeswoman told Steel First on Friday February 7.
“BMA has made a number of changes across its operations to reduce costs and increase productivity in order to ensure that our operations are profitable and sustainable.
“A recent review of the Saraji mine by the company concluded that a fundamental improvement in the cost base of the open-cut operation is required to ensure that it remains competitive,” BMA asset president Lucas Dow said in a statement released on Friday.
Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index stood at $128.89 per tonne fob Australia on February 6, down from around $150 per tonne seen in mid-September.
The Saraji mine produced 2.4 million tonnes of metallurgical coal during the December 2013 quarter, unchanged from the September 2013 quarter, but up from 2 million tonnes recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.
BHP Billiton’s share of metallurgical coal output for the October-December period reached 11.5 million tonnes, compared with 10.2 million tonnes during the July-September period, according to its latest production report.