South32 has reported strong results from its Illawarra coal mines, with production up 57 per cent on the previous financial year.
Illawarra Metallurgical Coal production was up to 6.6 million tonnes in the financial year just past, as the Dendrobium and Appin mining operations ramped up following the successful completion of two longwall moves.
The miner has released its quarterly report to the Australian Securities Exchange, including the results for the financial year which ended in June.
With development work improving at Appin, the company was confident it could sustain a three-longwall operation in the Illawarra by June next year.
The next step for the miner is environmental assessment of its planned Dendrobium expansion, which would extend its life to 2036. South32 said it expected to make a final investment decision in the first half of 2021.