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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 20/02/2013

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(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Continental Coal (ASX:CCC/AIM:COOL) notched a month of thermal coal production in January 2013 that was 400 per cent greater from its Penumbra Coal Mine from the previous month.

The company also disclosed it expected negotiations over an acquisition and/or strategic joint venture of specific operating and development projects, to be concluded this quarter/

ROM production in January 2013 was 14,031 tonnes, compared to 2,694 tonnes in the previous month.

This was achieved as more coal panels have been developed, greater underground operating flexibility has been achieved and a focus on production from the two underground continuous miner sections.

Operations and primary export yields of 37.2% were achieved in January 2013, a significant improvement of primary export yields of 26.2% achieved in December 2012.

Primary export yields of 67% are forecast to be achieved once the Penumbra Mine has achieved steady state operating levels by June 2013.

Export sales from the Penumbra Coal Mine have continued over the month and in January 2013 totaled 5,212 tonnes, compared to 854 tonnes in the previous month.

Export thermal coal sales have been made directly from the Company's Anthra Rail Siding, through its own rail and port allocations from the Richards Bay Coal Terminal and sold into the export market under existing off-take agreements.

Boost in February 2013 production

The company is currently in the process of preparing to commence commissioning of the second Joy 14HM15 Continuous Miner underground in the second section.

Production from the second section is forecast to commence by the end of February 2013 and will lead to a further increase in ROM production.

Underground ROM production for February 2013 is forecast to be 20,000-25,000 tonnes, with production of 35,000-40,000 tonnes in March 2013 with both Continuous Miners in operation.

Monthly budgeted ROM production of approx. 63,000 tonnes is forecast by June 2013.

The Company now operates 3 thermal coal mining operations in South Africa with a combined targeted ROM production rate of 2.8Mtpa of thermal coal.

First coal production and first export thermal coal sales completed from the Company's newly commissioned , the Penumbra Coal Mine added a third mine to the company's production profile.

Development project

Optimisation work on the De Wittekrans Project, the proposed 4th mine development, demonstrated the opportunity to enhance the technical and financial fundamentals with proposed exports of 2.4Mtpa of thermal coal over an initial 30 year mine life

Funds received

Settlement of the sale of the Company's interest in VanMag proceeds with initial payment of approx. US1m received and the US9m balance due this quarter.

Botswana Exploration

During the Quarter, the company announced that the Botswana Department of Mines had approved the renewal of the Company's three coal Prospecting Licenses in Botswana for a further 2 years.


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