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Bathurst Resources cuts costs, boosts production

Bathurst Resources, the South Island focused coal company, has defied gloom in the sector by returning to profit.

The company, which is listed on the Australian ASX and is headquartered in Wellington, reported an after tax profit of $142,000 for the six months to December 31, after cutting costs including shedding jobs.

While the profit is a tiny proportion of its $28.9 million in revenue, it compared to a loss of $7.2 million in the second half of 2014.

The company is also generating cash, reporting positive cashflow of $3.2m during the period, compared to an outflow of $2.2m for the second half of 2014.

Coal mining internationally has been under pressure, hit by plunging commodity prices and a move towards cleaner forms of energy.

State-owned Solid Energy was placed in voluntary administration in 2015 after banks accepted that a managed sales process was likely to yield more than liquidation.

Bathurst Resources had ambitious plans to ramp up production on the Denniston Plateau, which made it the target of environmental protests.

However since coal prices slumped, the company has cut back on exploration and development work to focus on its existing production at various sites across the South Island.

During the six months to December 31, the company mined around 250,000 tonnes of coal, with sales of 202,000 tonnes.

- Stuff