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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2013
Our growth plans will transform this business -- we have almost doubled the size of the business in the past year, and we plan to more than double it again in the next three years -- taking us from a 5Mt producer in FY2012 to a 22Mt producer in FY2017. In e ect we are working from our already-strong base of open cut production to build one of Australia's most signi cant, modern, sustainably-minded mining companies. My focus has been on ensuring the challenges presented as part of this growth are managed e ciently, and that we retain and attract the best people to our business. People who can meet the many challenges of our growth pro le, understand the expectations of our stakeholders, and keep their focus on the broader goals. I am particularly pleased that this year we have provided shareholders and stakeholders with a much more detailed overview of our sustainability practices. This report begins on page 20 of this document and clearly outlines our commitment, approach and performance in relation to safety, environment, economic contributions, community and our people. This is a critical part of our business and we will continue to provide detailed information on our sustainability performance to our shareholders and all other stakeholders. Industry overview It has been an eventful year where the Australian coal industry as a whole was under signi cant pressure from weaker prices and a strong Australian dollar. Many coal mining companies in Australia have been forced to make tough decisions in an e ort to restore their competitiveness and survive in the current environment. Despite the weak coal market conditions Whitehaven has made signi cant progress on a number of the key components of its strategy to become the premier independent listed coal producer in Australia. One of the di cult decisions made in the rst half was the closure and placement into care and maintenance of the higher cost Sunnyside open cut. All Whitehaven's direct employees a ected by the decision were o ered roles at our other operations, although there were a number of redundancies among the contractor workforce. Financial performance The nancial performance of the Company for FY2013 was impacted by low coal prices, a strong Australian dollar and cost pressures across the coal industry in Australia. The loss of $82.2 million is not an acceptable outcome and the Company has taken measures to reduce costs and improve margins at all of the mines in the portfolio. The resolution of lower than expected energy and moisture in the Narrabri thermal product and cost reductions at the open cuts will go a long way to restoring margins across the operations. In addition, the production ramp up at Narrabri will lower costs on a unit basis from the mine. Safety Whitehaven is committed to protecting workers from injury or illness while working at any of our operations. We take the commitment seriously and expect those working for us to share the same level of commitment. I am pleased to report that the performance at the Narrabri underground mine improved considerably during FY2013 with the Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) declining to 22.36 in the year from 34.61 the previous year, an outstanding achievement in a new mine with a relatively inexperienced workforce. There was a slight deterioration in the safety performance at the open cuts in FY2013. For more information on our safety performance please refer to page 32 of this report. Operations overview In early July 2013 we received the highly-anticipated unconditional Federal Government approval required for the development and construction of the Tier 1 Maules Creek project. It has been a long and arduous process to obtain all of the necessary approvals from the various Government authorities. It gives me great pleasure to report to you as Whitehaven's Managing Director following my appointment to the role in March this year. 6 Whitehaven Coal Limited Annual Report 2013 Managing Director's Report
Annual Report 2012