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Whitehaven's fiscal Q1'20 coal production, sales grow YOY

Australian miner Whitehaven Coal Ltd.'s salable coal production in the September quarter jumped 23% year over year to 4.9 million tonnes, while run-of-mine coal production climbed 22% to 4.4 Mt.

Total coal sales in the first quarter of the company's fiscal 2020 increased 14% year over year to 5.5 Mt, according to an Oct. 22 news release.

Production and sales increased on the back of a strong performance at the Narrabri underground mine in New South Wales, which was affected by a longwall change in the year-ago quarter.

The company anticipates an impact to output from Narrabri in the second fiscal quarter, related to an eight-week longwall change-out scheduled through November and December.

For its full fiscal 2020, Whitehaven expects managed run-of-mine coal production of 22.0 Mt to 23.5 Mt and managed coal sales of 20.0 Mt to 21.0 Mt. Unit costs were estimated at US$70 per tonne.

Sustaining capital expenditure for the fiscal year was forecast at A$55 million to A$63 million, with A$22 million to A$26 million earmarked for the Narrabri Mains development. The company's expansion and growth budget includes A$50 million to A$58 million for operating mine projects and A$95 million to A$105 million for growth projects.

Whitehaven is increasing its stake in the Narrabri mine to 77.5% from 70% by acquiring EDF Trading Australia, which owns a 7.5% stake in the property.