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March 2002 Quarterly Report

1 January - 31 March 2002

26 April 2002

Principal Points

  • Mine production increased to approximately 16,000oz (sales 13,000oz excluding gemstone) gold and 300,000t coal. On track for further growth, particularly from coal.
  • Continued emphasis on expansion with mine development of 2500m gold and 2800m coal.
  • Ventilation shaft constructed at Gympie for further exploratory development capacity. Current coal priority is to complete panel SL2 and start SL3 during the June quarter. SL3 contains over 1.7M recoverable tonnes worth over $120M in potential revenue terms, is the biggest production zone ever developed in the Greta Seam and is capable of extraction in 02-03.
  • Current gold priorities are to develop more ore for the new Lewis Mine and to continue mill expansion from 200,000 tpa capacity at 31/12/01 to current 300,000 tpa to 400,000 tpa later this year.

Physical Risks

  • All operating sites running at industry standard safety and environmental performance.

Gold Exploration

  • Search for a major new gold system currently focused on the Partridge Graben in the Southern Gympie Goldfield. Best drill intercept was 4.9 m at 29 g/t 150 m below ground and 500 m east of the new decline tunnel. Strike appears parallel to the Inglewood Lode has been established over 800m. High grade Gympie Veins have been drill-intercepted in its vicinity but geometry and grade have yet to be established. Drilling continues.
  • Exploration for additional resources and reserves for the new Lewis Mine yielded disappointment in the Inglewood Lode adjacent to the first production Zone N3 and yielded encouragement in stockwork zones, with development having commenced on Stockwork 7.

Marketing

  • Successfully established new coal customers in North and South America, Korea and Japan while continuing to serve long-established Japanese customers. Market outlook for metallurgical (coking) coal is strong with market diversification in Europe, South America and India showing promise.
  • Successfully established new products in metallurgical market niches based on Southland Coal’s quality attributes of extremely low ash, high fluidity and high calorific value.
  • The prices for all group products appear to be firming. The Company’s emphasis on value-adding is enhancing the prospects for growth of profit margin to coincide with the current growth of production and sales volumes. The Gympie Gold ® Gemstone business met current sales target.

Corporate

  • Cash and gold bullion was $7M. Finance facilities are in the process of expansion.
  • Marketing of the proposed Southern Gympie Goldfield Joint Venture awaits the requisite approvals from the relevant Federal and State Departments.
  • Gold hedging has reduced from 45% of stated resources 18 months ago to around 30% currently and will reduce further. Currency hedging will be extinguished by this June quarter’s coal production and will be replenished to convert into $A the coal sales up to one year ahead.


Full details can be obtained in the following downloadable files:

  • March Quarterly Report [ pdf ]


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