File photo: A Harmony Gold mine.

JOHANNESBURG  - Coal producer MC Mining said Monday its average revenue per tonne was up 28 percent to US$81.39/tonne in the year ended June 30, compared to $63.52/tonne in 2018.

MC Mining said production costs were down seven percent to $46.94 per saleable tonne, primarily due to the rand/US dollar exchange rate.

It reported net proceeds of $6.3 million from the disposal of the Mooiplaats thermal coal colliery, including the receipt of three initial instalments and the subsequent negotiated early settlement of the outstanding balance.

"The past financial year was very successful for the company and we completed several critical milestones for our flagship Makhado project," CEO David Brown said.

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"This resulted in the company’s directors conditionally approving its phased development, reducing the execution risk while ensuring scalability of the project."

He reiterated that the development of the Makhado project would result in MC Mining being the pre-eminent South African producer of hard coking coal, which trades at a significant premium to thermal coal and is a key ingredient contributing to the manufacture of steel.

"The long-term viability of Makhado is supported by forecast long-term growth in global steel demand, with economic development and urbanisation driving increases in per capita steel usage," said Brown.

He said the company had overcome a major hurdle to the development of Makhado when it acquired two key farms during the year, with MC Mining now owning all four properties encompassed in the mining area.

The project’s fully permitted status was further confirmed following approval for amendments to its environmental authorisation, allowing for the transport of coal by road rather than rail.

Besides Makhado, the coal exploration, development and mining company's key operations also include the Uitkomst Colliery for metallurgical coal, Vele Colliery (coking and thermal coal), and the Greater Soutpansberg projects (coking and thermal coal).

- African News Agency (ANA)