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Glencore 2016 coal production slumps 5% on year to 125 mil mt

Diverse miner Glencore produced 124.9 million mt of coal during 2016,falling 5% year on year, primarily due to the divestment of Optimum Coal inSouth Africa, the company said Thursday.

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The company said in its 2016 production report that South African exportthermal coal output for the year fell 13% from 2015 to 17.2 million mt, whiledomestic output from its mines in the country dropped 30% to 12.1 million mt. Glencore disposed of Optimum Coal to Tegeta Exploration & Resources inApril after having started business rescue proceedings in early August lastyear. It also closed some smaller mines in the country during the year.

Australian export thermal coal production for 2016 was steady on the yearat 52.5 million mt, while Australian domestic production climbed 44% to 5.6million mt, the miner said.

The miner attributed this to planned increases at the Mangoola, Rollestonand Ravensworth North mines and improved production at South Blakefield, whichhad experienced "geological challenges" in 2015.

Its Australian mines produced 10% less coking coal during the year at 5.3million mt due to geological issues at the Oaky Creek mine earlier in theyear, with semi-soft coal output up 17% on-year to 4.2 million mt.

In Colombia, heavy rainfall resulted in thermal coal production fromGlencore's Prodeco mine dropping 2% on-year to 17.3 million mt.

Its 33.3% pro-rata share of production from the Cerrejon mine for theyear was 10.7 million mt, 4% lower from 2015, also due to weather-relateddisruptions.

Glencore said it planned to produce around 135 million mt of coal in2017.

--Jacqueline Holman, jacqueline.holman@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com