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Anglo American has maintained its full year production targets for metallurgical coal in 2021 after the first six months were disrupted by poor demand, development activities and elevated gas levels.

The multinational miner will continue aiming to produce 14-16 million tonnes of metallurgical coal in 2021 – a tentative total dependent on any further COVID-19 related disruptions.

Exportable metallurgical coal production was down 25 per cent to three million tonnes for the June quarter of 2021, as Queensland’s Grosvenor coal mine remains suspended following an explosion in May 2020.

However, Queensland’s Moranbah coal mine was able to restart on June 3, 2021, following a gas-leak, allowing it to produce 56,600 tonnes for the June quarter – over 700,000 tonnes less than the June quarter of 2020.

Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani indicated the company was performing strongly overall, considering COVID-19, with a footnote excluding Grosvenor and Moranbah from the progress.

“We have delivered a solid operational performance supported by comprehensive COVID-19 measures to help safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our workforce and host communities,” Cutfani said.

“We have generally maintained operating levels at approximately 95 per cent (excluding Moranbah and Grosvenor) of normal capacity.”

The company’s June quarter report stated that open cut operations were still returning to pre-COVID-19 production levels, as demand continues to improve at the Dawson and Capcoal mines in Queensland.

Capcoal was the only one of Anglo’s five metallurgical coal operations to produce more in the 2021 June quarter than in the previous June quarter, with a growth of 27 per cent.

Cutifani concluded with an emphasis on Anglo’s future endeavours which will focus on decarbonisation.

“Our portfolio and growth investments are increasingly focused on those future-enabling metals and minerals that are critical to decarbonising energy and transport, and to meeting consumers’ growing needs, from luxury to everyday,” he said.