www.investegate.co.uk/article.aspx?id=2 ... 5996W&fe=1
We achieved record year to date ore production at Australia Manganese and increased production guidance at both our manganese ore operations for FY19 as we respond to favourable market conditions.
"At Worsley Alumina we have lowered production guidance for FY19 as we focus on improving calciner performance to sustainably achieve nameplate capacity.
"We remain focused on mitigating inflationary pressure and have maintained FY19 unit cost guidance for all our operations.
"We continue to reshape our portfolio having committed to the final year of our Trilogy Metals option, retaining the right to earn a 50% interest in the Upper Kobuk Mineral projects. The divestment of South Africa Energy Coal is on track with binding bids expected in the June 2019 quarter. Once an acceptable bid is received and evaluated, we expect to reclassify the operation as held for sale.
"Net cash has increased by US$48M to US$726M, following the return of a further US$37M to shareholders through our on-market share buy-back."
Graham Kerr, South32 CEO
· Net cash increased US$48M to US$726M despite an increase in working capital and the allocation of a further US$37M to our on-market share buy-back in the quarter.
· Maintained FY19 Operating unit cost guidance for all our operations.
· Achieved record year to date ore production at Australia Manganese and increased FY19 production guidance by 4% at both our manganese operations as we continue to respond to favourable market conditions.
· Lowered FY19 production guidance at Worsley Alumina by 4% as we deliver initiatives to support a sustainable increase to nameplate capacity from FY20 and Brazil Alumina by 5% as we improve steam generation, enabling the realisation of the full benefits of the De-bottlenecking Phase One project.
· Reduced FY19 production guidance at South Africa Energy Coal, including low margin domestic production by 2Mt and export production by 0.8Mt following community protests and a slower than expected ramp-up of activity at Klipspruit after an insurable dragline outage.
· Remain on track to achieve FY19 production guidance at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal having completed longwall moves at Appin and Dendrobium following the end of the quarter and successfully renegotiated the remaining labour agreements.
· Maintained production guidance at Cannington, having commenced temporary road haulage during the quarter to mitigate the loss of rail following floods in North Queensland.
· Maintained production guidance at Hillside Aluminium and Mozal Aluminium despite an increase in the frequency of load-shedding events.