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Whitehaven coal output rises 14% in September quarter as Maules Creek ramps up

Whitehaven Coal Ltd.'s salable coal output surged in the September quarter as the Maules Creek mine in New South Wales, Australia, had another record production quarter.

The company's salable coal production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018 increased 14% year over year to 5.9 million tonnes. Run-of-mine coal production likewise improved by 5% to 5.7 million tonnes in the three-month period, the company said Oct. 12.

Managed coal sales, including sales of purchased coal, for the quarter were 6.1 million tonnes, an increase of 21% from the corresponding period last year and well ahead of the previous quarterly record of 5.5 million tonnes.

At the Maules creek mine, run-of-mine coal production in the quarter jumped 37% year over year to 2.6 million tonnes. Salable coal production from the mine rose 38% to 2.4 million tonnes.

The Gunnedah operation produced 899,000 tonnes of run-of-mine coal in the quarter, compared to 1.2 million tonnes a year ago. Salable coal output, however, increased 12% year over year to 1.3 million tonnes.

Quarterly production at the Narrabri mine dropped 5% for run-of-mine coal to 2.2 million, and declined 4% for salable coal to 2.1 million, on a yearly basis.

Whitehaven spent A$538,000 on exploration during the September quarter, it noted.