November 19, 2019 / 2:27 AM / 25 days ago

Australia's New Hope flags risk to Acland 2020 coal output

(Reuters) - Australian coal producer New Hope Corp Ltd (NHC.AX) said on Tuesday said 2020 output at its New Acland mine will fall to around 60% of the previous year’s levels in the absence of government approvals for an expansion of the mine.

New Hope is waiting on the Queensland state government to approve mining lease applications for its New Acland Stage 3 project in Queensland, following a legal victory over an activist group that sought to halt the expansion.

Pending approvals, the company expects to ramp New Acland output back up to about 5 million tonnes of coal per annum (mtpa) and then assess the timing for a further increase up to 7.5 mtpa.

New Hope said after the ruling on Nov. 1 that “there is no further barrier to the Queensland Government now giving final approvals” for the project.

The reserve areas of its Stage 2 operations are expected to be exhausted in the first-half of calendar 2021.

New Hope on Tuesday also reported a 66% jump in first quarter saleable coal production to 3.3 million tonnes, as output ramped up at its Bengalla mine.

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin

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