Heavy rain weighs on Whitehaven's (ASX:WHC) full year production targets

Company News

by Lauren Evans

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) felt the impact of heavy rain across the east side of the nation, while labour shortages also weighed on operations and road access.

This has led to a fall in production and sales volumes for the quarter, with full year production targets cut by 5 per cent. Managed ROM (run of mine) coal production for FY22 is now 19 to 20.5 million tonnes, down from 20 to 21.5 million tonnes.

Whitehaven also updated its unit cost guidance to $79 to $84 a tonne, from $72 to $76 a tonne. Within that, worker absenteeism is costing an estimated $1 to $2 a tonne, flooding in the first half about $2 a tonne, increased demurrage costs at $2 a tonne, and increased diesel fuel at $3 a tonne.

Both thermal and metallurgical coal prices are expected to be well supported over 2022. For the quarter it achieved an average met price of $US201 and an average thermal price of $US155, or $211 in Australian dollars.  

“Whitehaven has unfortunately not been immune to recent heavy rains that impacted large parts of regional NSW and QLD as La Niña made its presence felt for the second Australian summer in a row," said chief executive officer Paul Flynn.

“While we remain very confident about ongoing favourable supply and demand dynamics, there is elevated uncertainty associated with Covid’s impact on workforce availability and resourcing through our supply chains."

Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) are trading 6.1 per cent lower at $2.77. 

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