Coal of Africa's production hit by strikes

Coal of Africa on Friday said production fell over the last three months of 2012 following strikes at its Mooiplaats mine in South Africa.

Coal of Africa on Friday said production fell over the last three months of 2012 following strikes at its Mooiplaats mine in South Africa.

The mining company reported a 24% quarter-on-quarter drop in run of mine coal output from 1.52m tonnes to 1.15m tonnes.

Coal sales to the domestic market declined by 17.8% to 154,186 tonnes.

Production and sales were hit hard in Mooiplaats after the group was forced to suspend operations over wage related strikes.

The employees, associated with the National Union of Mineworkers, were protesting against the suspension of four workers, due to alleged misconduct and breach of the picketing rules during a 'legal' strike in October.

However, export coal sales from the Matola Terminal in Mozambique increased by 83% to 411,292 tonnes due to improved demand, availability of rail capacity and the reduction of inventory build-up in the previous quarter.

During the period the company acquired the Chapudi coal project in South Africa from Rio Tinto Minerals Development. Coal of Africa also confirmed the receipt of $80m for the conditional placement from Haohua Energy International company following regulatory approvals from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, authorities in the People's Republic of China and consent from shareholders.

The group had $18.7m cash available at the end of the quarter.

Shares were down 1.10% to 22.50p at 10:07 Friday.

RD

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