CANBERRA: Australia’s Port Kembla Coal Terminal shipped 494,942 mt of coal in July, down by 12% from 562,890 mt in June, according to figures from the terminal operator, as production remains suspended at a South32 mine which ships coal via the terminal. The dominant metallurgical coal port’s July exports lagged behind the monthly average for fiscal 2016-17 (July-June) of 670,162 mt, the figures showed Monday. If PKCT were to continue shipping at the June rate for the entire 2017-18 fiscal year, its exports would total 5.83 million mt, which falls significantly below its 15 million mt/year peak annual capacity.
Australian miner South32’s Illawarra Metallurgical Coal business — which manages PKCT, and exports via it — announced late in June that it was suspending underground operations at its Appin mine due to high gas levels. It remains suspended with South32 saying July 10 that it’s likely to be an “extended outage.” The Appin colliery accounted for 49% of Illawarra Metallurgical Coal’s total 7.07 million mt of production in fiscal 2016-17, 5.70 million mt of which was metallurgical coal, according to South32’s quarterly report released in July. On Monday, there was 205,199 mt of coal in stock at PKCT, which compares to 338,496 mt around the beginning of July, data from the operator showed. There was one ship assembled and one queuing at PKCT on Monday. The terminal is located 72 km south of Sydney and services the Southern and Western coalfields in New South Wales.