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South32's coal, manganese output fall YOY in fiscal Q2'20

South32 Ltd. said Jan. 16 that metallurgical coal output for the second quarter of its fiscal 2020 slumped 22.9% yearly to 1.21 million tonnes due to the longwall move at the Appin mine at the company's Illawarra operation in New South Wales, Australia.

Total energy coal output fell 7.4% in the December 2019 quarter to 5.90 Mt, after the company's South Africa Energy Coal unit demobilized contractors in response to market conditions. Aluminum production remained largely unchanged at 248,000 tonnes, while alumina output inched down 4.0% to 1.33 Mt.

Manganese ore production at South32's Australian and South African mines slipped 2.8% to 1.40 million wet tonnes due to an extended maintenance shutdown at the Wessels mine in South Africa. Manganese alloy production fell 17.5% to 47,000 tonnes.

Payable zinc equivalent production at the Cannington mine in Queensland, Australia, grew 16% to 59,600 tonnes. The company's silver output grew 10.8% to 3.19 million ounces, and lead production jumped 28.0% to 28,800 tonnes. Payable nickel output from South32's Cerro Matoso mine in Colombia slid 3.8% to 10,000 tonnes.

Fiscal first-half metallurgical coal output slumped 7% yearly to 2.86 Mt, while energy coal output slid 2% to 12.62 Mt.

The diversified miner lowered its full-year energy coal production forecast for its South Africa Energy Coal to 26.00 Mt. The company is adjusting volumes to maximize margins in response to market conditions.

In November 2019, South32 entered into a binding conditional agreement to sell its stake in South Africa Energy Coal to Seriti Resources Holdings Pty. Ltd. unit Thabong Coal Pty. Ltd. The sale is expected to close in the December 2020 half.

Alumina production in the final six months of 2019 totaled 2.64 Mt, a 4% increase, while aluminum production was largely unchanged at 496,000 tonnes.

Manganese ore production inched down 3% to 2.81 million wet tonnes, and alloy production dropped 17% to 91,000 tonnes.