Rio Tinto’s hard coking coal output inches up by 2% in 2013

Rio Tinto’s hard coking coal production from its global operations rose 2% in 2013, with Australian output making up a marginally lower proportion due to disruptions.

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The miner’s full-year output of hard coking was 8.2 million tonnes, compared with 8.04 million tonnes in 2012, it announced on Thursday January 16.

But output from its major operations in Australia slipped 3% from 2012 to 7.65 million tonnes last year.

Operations in Queensland, Australia were disrupted by a geotechnical low wall failure at Hail Creek in July, and the $2 billion extension project at the Kestrel Mine that was officially opened in October.

Its hard coking coal output in Australia during October-December rose 8% quarter-on-quarter to 2.26 million tonnes due to reduced impact from maintenance and upgrade stoppages.

Rio Tinto Coal Australia also delivered a total 3.86 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal in 2013, up 17% from a year earlier. It delivered 922,000 tonnes in the December quarter, up 23% from the July-September.

The miner’s full-year volumes of hard coking coal from Mozambique jumped 200% year-on-year to 564,000 tonnes as production at its mine in the country continues to ramp up.

During the December quarter, its Mozambique operations produced 148,000 tonnes of hard coking coal, down 9% from the preceding quarter.

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