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JOHANNESBURG - South African junior miner Wescoal said on Tuesday it performed strongly in the six months ended September 30 2017, with production, revenue and gross profit all increasing substantially.

The company was on track to meet its medium-term objective of eight million run-of-mine (ROM) tonnes per annum, Wescoal CEO Waheed Sulaiman said.

“The past six months have been productive and encouraging in some tough operating conditions. We concluded the Keaton acquisition and continue to bed that down," Sulaiman said.

A recently secured long term debt facility would ensure Wescoal was well positioned to take advantage of further consolidation opportunities in the junior coal sector and ramp up production, he added.

ROM production, revenue and gross profit were up 100%, 55% and 42% respectively in the six months under review, compared to the same period last year.

But headline earnings per share and earnings per share values declined 27% and 18%, mainly as a result of the issue of 125 million BEE (black economic empowerment) shares and some 88 million shares as part of the purchase consideration for Keaton Energy.

"With the Keaton Energy acquisition, the group continues to grow into a multifaceted group with a presence in the domestic and international thermal coal markets, as well as coal logistics infrastructure," Wescoal said in its report.

- African News Agency