TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2012) - Forbes & Manhattan Coal Corp. (TSX:FMC)(JSE:FMC) ("Forbes Coal" or "the Company") reports that the total saleable production at the Magdalena bituminous and Aviemore anthracite operations declined in the third quarter of 2013 (September 1, 2012 to November 30, 2012), as compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2013, due to labour disruptions during the quarter. The labour disruptions lasted 4.5 weeks of the 13 week quarter, from October 17, 2012 - November 16, 2012, representing one third of the working weeks in the quarter. Total saleable production for the third quarter was 152,000 tonnes, a 41% decrease from the previous quarter. The mine operations resumed on November 19, 2012 and have been in full production since.
Third quarter fiscal 2013 production results:
- Aviemore run of mine (ROM) production was 61,000 tonnes, a 53% decrease over second quarter 2013 of 130,000 tonnes
- Aviemore saleable production was 40,000 tonnes, a 49% decrease over second quarter 2013 production of 79,000 tonnes
- Magdalena ROM production was 184,000 tonnes, a 35% decrease over second quarter 2013 production of 283,000 tonnes
- Magdalena saleable production was 112,000 tonnes, a 37% decrease over second quarter 2013 production of 177,000 tonnes
- In addition, Forbes Coal bought in 25,000 tonnes resulting in 177,000 total saleable tonnes for the third quarter 2013
- Total sales were 147,000 tonnes, a 48% decrease over second quarter 2013 sales of 280,000 tonnes.
"The incremental increase in production we've seen at Magdalena and Aviemore in the previous quarters was hindered by the labour disruption that lasted just over a month. The mine operations resumed in full production November 19th. Furthermore, under prevailing market conditions of weak coal prices globally, we are monitoring coal output. Forbes Coal remains focused on achieving continued growth in run of mine and saleable numbers for the balance of fiscal 2013 and beyond," commented President and Chief Executive Officer Stephan Theron.
Seasonal Production Break
It is routine for the mine operations to shut down during the holiday season which this year is scheduled to commence on December 22, 2012. The plant will re-open on Thursday, January 3, 2013, while mining operations will resume on Monday, January 7, 2013. The siding will operate throughout the holiday season.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company exported 73,000 tonnes, with domestic sales of 74,000 tonnes.
About Forbes Coal
Forbes Coal is a growing coal producer in southern Africa. It holds a majority interest in two operating mines through its 100% interest in Forbes Coal (Pty) Ltd., a South African company ("Forbes Coal Dundee") which has a 70% interest in Zinoju Coal (Pty) Ltd. ("Zinoju"). Zinoju holds a 100% interest in the Magdalena bituminous mine and the Aviemore anthracite mine in South Africa (collectively, "the Forbes Coal Dundee Properties"). The mines have a substantial resource base and each mine has a projected life span in excess of 20 years. Forbes Coal is in the process of increasing production at both mines using existing infrastructure and capacity. The Company has in-place transportation infrastructure allowing its coal to reach both export corridors and the growing domestic coal market. In September 2012, Forbes Coal entered into an agreement to acquire 100% ownership of Riversdale Holdings (Pty) Ltd from Rio Tinto. As a result of the acquisition, Forbes Coal will acquire Zululand Anthracite Colliery ("ZAC"), a producing anthracite mine in South Africa. ZAC is thought to be one of the last large-scale producers of high-quality anthracite product in South Africa, with historic run of mine production of 700,000 tonnes of coal per annum over the last five years. The acquisition scales Forbes Coal's annual production capacity to an estimated 2.5 million tonnes per annum.
Please refer to the Company's NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Forbes Coal Dundee Properties dated March 1, 2011 entitled "Technical Report on Slater Coal and Subsidiaries, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa", available on the SEDAR profile of the Company at www.sedar.com. Additional information is available at www.forbescoal.com.
Forbes Coal has a strong balance sheet and an experienced coal-focused management team and board of directors.
Johan Odendaal, B.Sc.(Geol.), B.Sc.(Hons)(Min. Econ.), M.Sc. (Min. Eng.), a director of Minxcon and an independent Qualified Person, as defined in National Instrument 43-101 has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this release.
The ability of the Company to increase production amounts has not been the subject of a feasibility study and there is no certainty that the proposed expansion will be economically feasible.
This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to anticipated production results with respect to the Forbes Coal Dundee Properties, future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects, statements regarding the anticipated improvements in logistical support and anticipated improvements in sales, statements made with respect to prospects for the business of the Company, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of the mineral exploration industry, environmental risks, acquisition of mining licences, title disputes or claims, limitations of insurance coverage and the timing and possible outcome of pending litigation and regulatory matters. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, foreign operations, political and social uncertainties; a history of operating losses; delay or failure to receive board or regulatory approvals; timing and availability of external financing on acceptable terms; not realizing on the potential benefits of the proposed transaction; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of mineral products; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; and, delays in obtaining governmental approvals or required financing or in the completion of activities. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.