AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Wesfarmers export coal down this year

<p>The export of coal from Wesfarmers’ Curragh North coalmine expansion in Queensland will be down this year mainly due to rail and port capacity restraints.</p> <p>The company’s outgoing chief, Michael Chaney, told investors in Sydney last night (Monday, May 10) that coal tonnages will be limited to about 4.7m, also largely due to the wash plant commissioning problems it experienced late last year.</p> <p>The expansion of Curragh is now expected to cost about $360m compared with the forecast $290m due mainly to an increase in the price of steel used in the construction of the coal-handling system and conveyor.</p> <p>But Mr Chaney said everything was on track for increased production from Curragh for the 2005&#4706. </p> <p>"We have arrangements in place to allow us to export 7m tonnes," he said.</p> <p>"Obviously, the performance, particularly of rail and ports, will be very important."</p> <br />