New Hope (ASX:NHC) jumps 6% on better coal results

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  • NHC reported a saleable coal production for the January quarter at 2,363kt.
  • Company’s total coal sales outperformed the planned volume of 2.466 million tonnes.
  • The High Court of Australia upheld the appeal against the Oakey Coal Action Alliance and ordered the case to be re-heard in the Queensland Land Court.

The diversified energy company New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC) announced its quarterly report for the period ended on 31 January 2021. The Newcastle coal price increased by 48% on a monthly average since October 2020, largely supported by colder winters in the Northern hemisphere.

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Further, the Asian economic growth is expected to continue and drive the demand further for thermal coal. The planned sales volume for the quarter was 2.466 million tonnes. The Company outperformed its own target and sold a total volume of 2.573 million tonnes of coal during the quarter.

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NHC Coal Projects

The Company operates two coal projects in Australia. The majority of the production comes from the New South Wales operation, where the Company owns 80% interest in the project. NHC also operates New Acland Mine in Queensland and it controls 100% interest in the Queensland project.

Operational Activity on coal projects

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New South Wales Operations: The project is operated by Bengalla Mining Company, a JV between New Hope Group (80%) and Taipower (20%). The saleable coal production for the quarter surpassed the planned production level.  Total production from the project stood at 2.385 million tonnes while the share NHC share was 1.908 million tonnes.

The Company has optimised its production line, including the excavator, trucks and the Coal Handling & Preparation Plant.

Queensland Coal Operation, New Acland Mine: The coal production from the fully owned mines of the Company is concentrated to West Pit only. The West Pit lies in close proximity to the township of Acland, and the Company to keep a tab on its noise level has installed a noise monitoring system on the project. NHC is taking care of the rehabilitation work on the project.

The Company received relief from the High Court of Australia. The Court upheld the appeal against the Oakey Coal Action Alliance and gave the ruling that the matter will be heard in the Queensland Land Court.  The date of hearing is not finalised yet. The case will be heard for the third time by the Land Court.

NHC is progressing on its rehabilitation program on the West Moreton operations, including the Jeebropilly, New Oakleigh and Chuwar sites.

Other Business Segment Update  

NHC is also in the oil and gas business through its subsidiary Bridgeport Energy. The production for the quarter was at 79,231 barrels of crude oil, and it sold 75,676 barrels of crude oil during the quarter. Bridgeport reported completion of workover jobs on Inland, Kenmore and Utopia fields.

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The Company also announced the 2P reserve of its Vali field to be 33PJ. The reserve value was announced after the testing of the Vali 1 well.

Pastoral Operations

NHC group runs its pastoral operation through the Bengalla Agricultural Company (BAC). The Company has planted dryland millet in 60 hectares of land to feed it to APC steers.

Share Price:  The shares of the Company were trading at A$1.32, with a gain of 7.43% at 2:15 PM (AEDT). The Company has a market cap of A$1.03 billion as of 23 February 2021.

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