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Friday, January 27, 2012

Whitehaven Coal hit by explosives shortage

Friday, 27 Jan 2012

A shortage of explosives have affected mining at Whitehaven Coal sites Source:

The Courier Mail reported that Whitehaven Coal sales fell in the December quarter after a shortage of explosives hampered mining.

The miner reported total coal sales of almost 1.43 million tonnes for the three months to December 31st down 22% compared with the same period in 2010.

According to Whitehaven, a shortage of explosives due to the shutdown of Orica's Newcastle plant prevented it from mining ore bodies in the preferred sequence.

The company sad that a shipment scheduled to load late last month did not load until this month and there was a minor impact from wet weather on its open cut mines.

Morningstar senior resources analyst Mr Gareth James said that "This doesn't change the outlook for Whitehaven. Short term issues like this don't really have much meaning."

According to the company, Whitehaven's underground mine under development at Narrabri, in northwest NSW, continued to be hampered by a lack of skilled underground miners. But the capital cost estimate for the project of about USD 300 million remained unchanged.

The company had to buy 381,000 tonnes of coal from other suppliers during the December quarter to meet fixed price legacy contracts entered into in 2005-06, but these obligations would be fully met by the end of the current financial year.

(Sourced from AAP)

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