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Whitehaven coal production in March quarter jumps 21% YOY

WhitehavenCoal Ltd. said April 14 that its run-of-mine coal production in theMarch quarter increased 21% year over year to 5.7 million tonnes.

Salable coal production in the quarter was up 28% to 5.3 milliontonnes on a yearly basis.

Total coal sales jumped 48% year over year to 5.5 milliontonnes.

Whitehaven achieved an average price of US$61.77 per tonnein the quarter for its metallurgical coal products, which comprised 15% oftotal sales. The company expects the average price in the June quarter to be inthe range of US$64 per tonne to US$67 per tonne.

Average price for thermal coal, which was 85% of thecompany's sales, stood at US$51.56 per tonne in the March quarter.

Run-of-mine coal production in the quarter at the mine in New SouthWales, Australia, dropped 6% year over year to 2.1 million tonnes.

The production ramp-up at the Maules Creek mine in New South Wales resultedin run-of-mine coal production of 2.1 million tonnes and salable coalproduction of 2 million tonnes.

In the second half of fiscal 2016, production at MaulesCreek is expected to exceed an annualized rate of 8.5 million tonnes. In thesecond half of fiscal 2017, the rate of production is expected to reach 10.5million tonnes per annum.

Free-on-board cash costs, excluding royalties, for fullfiscal 2016 are now expected at about A$57 per tonne, compared to A$61 pertonne reported for fiscal 2015.

Whitehaven said that it is on track to meet its fiscal 2016guidance for salable coal of between 19.5 million tonnes and 20.1 milliontonnes.

In the six-month period to March quarter, run-of-mine coalproduction was up 44% year over year to 14.9 million tonnes, and salable coalproduction increased 48% year over year to 14.6 million tonnes.

Total coal sales in the six months jumped 53% year over yearto 14.9 million tonnes.