Switzerland-based diversified mining group Xstrata has reported an 11% increase in coal production during the first six months ended June 30 from the previous year’s figures, reaching 4.2 million tonnes.

Australian thermal coal production increased 11% due to the highly productive Newlands Northern Underground mine in Queensland and increased focus on thermal production in New South Wales, which have compensated for the fall in production in South Africa due to the planned closure of the Impunzi mine, Xstrata said in its latest production report.

Total mined copper production increased by 1% and the company expects production and sales to be higher in the second half of the year, compared with the first six months figures.

Ferrochrome production was cut 60% as the company reduced capacity by 80% between late 2008 and early 2009 because of weak demand.

Total mined nickel output improved due to increased production and higher grades from Raglan and Xstrata Nickel Australasia, hitting 28,505t, a 7% increase compared to first half of 2008.

Zinc in concentrate production increased to 493,808t, a 30% increase over corresponding period in 2008, due to expansion of Australia’s Mt Isa operations and the new Perseverance and Brunswick mines in Canada.

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