Exxaro Resources Anticipates Higher Level of Thermal Coal Exports than Predicted
Exxaro Resources, the South Africa-based mining company, is expecting to see an increase in its thermal coal exports.
The prediction was made by Finance Director Wim de Klerk In a Coal Commodity review issued by the company in advance of the publication of its interim financial results due on August 21, which will give a full round up of the company’s first half-year performance.
It states that the total expected full year export volumes are estimated to be higher than the previously guided 4.5 million tonnes (Mt), although he did not specify a figure at this time.
Production volumes for the first half of 2014 are expected to be marginally lower than the second half of 2013 due to lower off-take from Matimba resulting in Grootegeluk cutting back production due to full stockpiles, production interruptions at Matla, lower production at Inyanda and cessation of production at the New Cydesdale Colliery.
Overall production volumes are expected to be marginally higher than the first half of 2013 mainly due to increase at Matla, Gootegeluk and Leeuwpan.
Sales to South Africa’s utility Eskom are expected to be lower than the second half of 2013 due to few units running at Matimba and production difficulties at Matla. However, Eskom sales volumes are expected to remain stable in comparison to first half of 2013.
The report also revealed that state logistics company Transnet Freight Rail’s rate for January to May had been 60.6 million mt/year despite being hit by power outages and the annual 10-week long rail maintenance stoppage.
Exxaro Mining said the demand in the internal coal markets was generally holding up well amidst the global drive for energy efficiency and energy mix changes required by various countries.
Both global thermal and metallurgical markets, are however, over supplied and some of the supply side factors are structural.
This, it said, may even prolong the current imbalance between supply and demand and pricing is forecasted to be generally flat for the rest of the year.
Exxaro is one of the largest South Africa-based diversified resources groups, with interests in the coal, titanium dioxide, ferrous and energy markets and current business interests in South Africa, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Inner Mongolia and Australia.
The company is the second-largest coal producer in South Africa and is listed on the JSE Limited, where it is a constituent of both the Top 40 and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indices.
Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.
Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.”
Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.
The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic.