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CoAL’s austere cost cutting and turnaround strategy

COAL of Africa (CoAL) has incurred a net loss of $63.54 million from continuing operations in the year to June from a $65.07 million loss in the year-earlier period as the struggling coal producer continued with its turnaround strategy.

The 2014 financial year marks the conclusion of the turnaround strategy that was initiated in 2013.

Cost-cutting practices

CoAL implemented a series of cost cutting practices that included the placement of the Mooiplaats Colliery on care and maintenance, the reduction of corporate staff head count and production at Vele was suspended in anticipation of the planned plant modification in September 2014.

As a result, group revenue from continuing operations was down to $761 million from $1.01 billion in the year-earlier period.

Great progress

“The last financial year has been one of great progress for the company in resolving many of the legacy issues that have plagued its ability to create value for the last few years,” CoAL chief executive David Brown said in a statement.

“The result of the efforts is that we believe that CoAL is positioned to begin the process of successfully exploiting its significant resource base.”

Discussions with potential customers for the Vele Colliery coal continued during the quarter and CoAL expects to convert these into formal off-take agreements in 2015.

Growth catalyst

The exploration and development of the CoAL prospects in the Soutpansberg coalfield is the catalyst for the long-term growth of the company.

The Department of Mineral Resources has accepted the company’s New Order Mining Right applications for the Mopane, Generaal and Chapudi projects, reports CoaL.

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