Coal up, Iron down in Q4 for Anglo

Trent Ernst, Editor
While strikes in South Africa caused production levels of iron ore and platinum to drop for Anglo American, both metallurgical and thermal coal were up. 
Production of Metallurgical coal was up 13 percent year over year from the company’s seven mines, which includes Peace River Coal here in Tumbler Ridge. The 4.6 million tonnes pushed the company to a record 17.7 million tonnes for 2012. 
Peace River Coal was one of the two main drivers of that increase, increasing production by 43 percent. The jump in production is attributed to upgrades to the coal handling and preparation plant, as well as general productivity improvements. 
The company’s other big jump in production happened at the Moranbah Underground Mine, located in Australia. There, production was up 55 percent compared to Q3. However, all six coal mines broke annual production records for 2012.
In December, a conditional Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) was issued to Peace River Coal for the proposed Roman Coal Mine project. The EAC has 25 separate conditions , each a legally binding requirement that Peace River Coal must meet. 
The Roman Mine is a 499-hectare expansion of the existing Trend Mine. If granted a Mines Act permit and other relevant permits, the Roman Mine will have a production capacity of two to four million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year for a ten-year production life. It is estimated the project will createover 1,000 jobs in construction and 760 jobs in operations.