* Q4 metallurgical coal output up 3%, misses analyst
* S32 joins global miners hurt by labour disruptions
* Dendrobium and Appin mines complete longwall configuration
July 25 (Reuters) - Diversified miner South32 Ltd
said on Monday adverse weather conditions and pandemic-led
labour disruptions impacted its total coal production, even as
the Australian company posted a 3% rise in its fourth-quarter
metallurgical coal output.
Shares of the company were up 2.3% in early trade.
The Perth-based miner said its total coal output dropped 8%
in the three months ended June 30 to 1.6 million tonnes (Mt), as
it joins global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto
to flag labour shortages.
Australian authorities have been struggling to get ahead of
the highly contagious Omicron variant, with hospital admissions
hovering near record levels, which have led to a shortage of
skilled labour in the country.
South32 said production of metallurgical coal, used to make
steel, rose to 1.38 Mt in the reported quarter, but it missed a
UBS estimate of 1.57 Mt. The company completed three longwall
moves across Appin and Dendrobium mines during the year.
Longwall configuration is a form of underground mining where
a long wall of coal is mined in a single slice.
With the sale of its four non-core base metals royalties to
Anglo Pacific Group Plc, South32 said it continues to
seek potential divestment opportunities for its stake in the
Eagle Downs metallurgical coal project.
The world's biggest manganese ore producer also recorded a
4% rise in its fourth-quarter output to 1.5 million wet metric
tonnes (Mwmt), compared with 1.4 Mwmt last year. The annual
output stood at 5.4 Mwmt, down nearly 3% from a year-ago period.
(Reporting by Upasana Singh and Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Daniel Wallis, Diane Craft and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)