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September 2002 Quarterly Report

Principal Points

24 October 2002

PRODUCTION

  • Short production quarter at Southland as July was dominated by the longwall move to SL3. Run-of-mine production for the quarter was nonetheless a disappointing 177,000 tonnes, 130,000 tonnes less than budget.
  • Elevated risk management at Southland in response to a series of roof falls at the longwall face during September. Poor ground conditions are expected to continue until December but measures have been taken to further mitigate risk and lift production.
  • For October, Southland's run-of-mine production was 67,000 tonnes to 22 October - in line with budget for this period. Updated 2002-03 outlook is to mine 1.4 to 1.7 million tonnes, comprising 1.3 to 1.5 million tonnes coking coal and 0.1 to 0.2 million tonnes steaming coal, with two-thirds being in the second half.
  • Gold production of 14,430 ounces at a low cash operating cost of $216/oz and total cost of $426/oz. Mined 75,000 tonnes of ore grading 7.4g/t (containing 17,800 oz gold) and over 6 months supply of gemstone.
  • Forecast 2002-03 gold production at Gympie Eldorado has increased to 65,000 ounces and may increase further if the mill is able process additional ore.
EXPLORATION
  • Launched 3-year $25 million Gympie Exploration Program - the largest exploration program in Queensland.
  • Further mineralisation intercepted 700 metres west of mine area in the Partridge Graben.
  • Mineralisation intercepted on the Inglewood Structure 700 metres along strike to the north of mine area. This potentially doubles the known mineralised strike length of this major gold feeder structure, which has already produced 2 million ounces.
  • Also, strong geophysical evidence of Inglewood Structure striking further north and south of mine area.
  • Stockwork ore zones intercepted near recent Lewis Decline extensions, including 23.5 metres at 10.1g/t.
  • At Southland, starting in-fill drilling and seismic program to refine long-term mine layout and commenced planning for potential small open-cut project on existing mining leases.
MARKETING
  • Coal export sales during the quarter were to Japan, Korea and South America. . A third contract has been secured with Brazilian steel mills, with a trial shipment planned for January 2003.
  • Gympie GoldŽ Gemstone revenue exceeded $500,000 for the quarter.
CORPORATE
  • Operating results for the September quarter have been negatively impacted by some $6 million due to production setbacks at Southland significantly reducing revenue and increasing costs.
  • Cash and gold bullion at quarter-end totalled $15 million after reducing short-term loans.
  • Gold hedging is now only 27% of resources and will reduce further.
  • Currency hedging in place for half of expected coal sales over next 15 months at $A/$US rate of 0.542.



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