Rio Tinto’s hard coking coal output down 13% year-on-year in Q3 2012

Rio Tinto’s hard coking coal production fell by 13% year-on-year to 2.41 million tonnes during the July-September quarter of 2012, the miner said on Tuesday October 16.

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Output at its resources in central Queensland, Australia, was affected by dragline mechanical issues at Hail Creek and a plant shutdown at Kestrel as part of the mine’s extension project, the company added.

But the company’s total hard coking coal production was still 20.3% higher than in the April-June quarter.

Its Benga mine in Mozambique started commercial production during the quarter, contributing 87,000 tonnes of hard coking coal.

Total hard coking coal output during the first nine months of 2012 reached 6.11 million tonnes, down by 1% from 6.18 million tonnes for the corresponding period last year.

The miner expects to produce 8.5 million tonnes of hard coking coal and 3.5 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal from its Australian operations in 2012. It produced 6.03 million tonnes of hard coking coal and 2.32 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal from January to September.

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