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The first half of the 2023–24 financial year (H1 FY24) saw New Hope produce 4.1 million tonnes (Mt) of saleable coal, a 28 per cent increase from H1 FY23.

The period also saw New Hope mine, rail and sell its first coal from the New Acland Stage 3 project located 35km north-west of Toowoomba, Queensland.

“Consistent operational performance, delivery of our organic production growth plans, and disciplined cost control have allowed us to maintain strong margins despite coal prices retreating from record highs,” New Hope Group chief executive officer Rob Bishop said.

“At our Bengalla mine, our 13.4Mpta (million tonnes per annum) growth project is tracking ahead of schedule, and we expect to see unit costs decline as production increases in the second half of the financial year.”

New Hope recently increased its shareholding in Malabar Resources to 19.9 per cent in order to increase its exposure to metallurgical coal.

The coal producer also acquired the West Muswellbrook assessment lease and recorded solid exploration work at EL9431, New Hope’s exploration lease area.

“Both to the west of our Bengalla mine, these provide synergies to our mining and agricultural assets as well as long-term optionality,” Bishop said.

New Hope closed out the half-year with $424.8 million in underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation and $251.7 million in net profit after tax.

The company also recorded $130.6 million in net cash from operating activities and $480.4 million in available cash.

“Our low-cost coal assets, and targeted organic growth, will favourably position New Hope to take advantage of the demand for high-quality coal expected through the energy transition,” Bishop said.