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This volume was down by 10.9% year-on-year, mostly due to the performance of its Carborough Downs unit in Queensland, Australia, which saw its output decline by 86.8%, to 73,000 tonnes.
This drop was a result of a longer-than-expected longwall move, which began in the middle of December and finished only in mid-March as a consequence of a roof fall at the beginning of January, Vale said.
The miner’s Moatize operations in Mozambique, south-east Africa, produced a total of 595,000 tonnes of metallurgical coal in the first quarter of 2014, up by 42.7% year-on-year.
However, Vale said the ramp-up of the first phase at Moatize is being temporarily restricted by rail and port infrastructure limitations, which “do not allow for the total utilisation of the mine’s nominal capacity of 11 million tpy”.
Output at the Australian Integra Coal project, in New South Wales, increased by 73.8% year-on-year from January to March, totalling 379,000 tonnes.