South African miner Exxaro announced a rise in annual profits on 9 March 2017, due to a rise in coal prices.
The headline earnings per share jumped to 1.302 South African cents last year from 457 cents in 2015.
In addition, Exxaro announced it was selling its 44 percent stake in US listed inorganic minerals and chemicals firm Tronox, worth nearly $900 million, leaving it to focus on its core mining business.
“Supportive market conditions are expected in 2017 for most of Exxaro’s chosen coal market segments compared to 2016, both domestically and internationally,” says Mxolisi Mgojo, Exxaro Chief Executive Officer.
After half a decade of decline, thermal coal prices have risen by two thirds since the beginning of last year, driven by a sharp cut in Chinese production and strong demand.
Exxaro produces thermal, semi-soft coking and metallurgical coal for export and for domestic consumption with some of its mines tied to power stations owned by South African national power utility Eskom.