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It was a strong September quarter for Whitehaven Coal, with run-of-mine (ROM) production up five per cent.

In other highlights, cash generated from operations was $269 million, and Whitehaven finished the quarter with a net cash position of $2.45 billion.

Whitehaven managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn said the Narrabri coal mine in NSW was a particular highlight for the company.

“Narrabri’s longwall ramp up continued throughout the quarter with improved performance in the month of September,” Flynn said. “As a result of solid September production, we concluded the quarter with healthy coal stocks.”

Whitehaven owns 77.5 per cent of Narrabri and is currently working on its stage three extension project. The goal of the project is to expand the life of the mine from 2031 to 2044.

The extension project was approved by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in January 2022.

In other quarterly highlights, the average coal price for the September quarter was $224 per tonne (/t).

“Realised prices of $224/t demonstrates resilient pricing in the shoulder season,” Flynn said.

It has been a big week for Whitehaven, as the company acquired BHP’s Daunia and Blackwater metallurgical coal mines for US$4.1 billion ($6.4 billion).

Whitehaven first confirmed that it was in the running to acquire the Queensland mines back in September.

“This transaction has delivered a good outcome for the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, our workforce and the communities around the Blackwater and Daunia operations,” BHP president of minerals Australia Geraldine Slattery said.

“Whitehaven Coal has a strong track record as a responsible and reliable operator, and we will work closely with them to achieve a smooth change of ownership focused on maintaining safe and productive operations and supporting people and communities through the transition.”