SA Coal of Africa half-year loss widens by 50% on strikes, lower prices.

By bne IntelliNews March 18, 2013
South African producer of thermal and coking coal Coal of Africa (CoAL) said its loss for the six months to end-December 2012 deepened to USD 111.7mn from USD 74.7mn, driven down by USD 50mn impairment at its Mooiplaats colliery, which was hit by an illegal wage related strike action in September. In addition to the work stoppage, which resulted in lower output, Mooiplaats was hurt by lower coal prices and higher logistical costs, CoAL said in a bourse filing. The miners total revenue from the sale of coal for its fiscal H1 fell 31% y/y to USD 87.3mn as a result from the lower coal prices, reduced production and lower sales volumes. CoAL produced 1.05 million tonnes of export quality coal during the six months to end-December 2012, down from 1.21 million tonnes in the six months to end-June 2012. Export coal sales fell to 636,264 tonnes from 863,893 tonnes, while coal sales on the domestic market declined 13% to 341,685 tonnes. Sales of middling coal to South Africas national power utility Eskom increased by 25.9% to 473,154 tonnes. CoAL has three operating collieries in South Africa, producing thermal and coking coal for the domestic and export markets. Hong Kong-based Haohua Energy International (HEI), a wholly-owned subsidiary Beijing Haohua Energy Resource (BHE) recently injected USD 100mn in CoAL, in exchange for a 23.6% stake in CoAL, and aiming to support the development of CoALs Makhado project in the Limpopo province, which is targeted to supply between 2.4 million and 5 million tonnes of coal needed in metallurgical processes annually to both domestic and foreign clients. Beijing Haohau Energy Resource Company produces coal and is the largest exporter of anthracite coal from China.

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