Throughout 2015 Yancoal continued to respond to the constraints of our operating cash flow and low global coal prices with strong and decisive action.
While sourcing new funding arrangements to support sustainable future growth, we have also further developed our strict cost control measures across all sites and restructured the underground operations to achieve greater efficiencies.
With the support of our Board, management teams and major shareholders, we have maintained our commitment to our investment within the Australian resources sector, and achieved our development targets for each phase of the low-cost, high-value Moolarben Stage Two asset on time and on budget.
Simultaneously we have continued to pursue and achieve the necessary legislative approvals to consider the future viability and development of our pipeline of potential brownfield expansion and extension projects.
While we are yet to achieve our goal of returning Yancoal to a profitable leader within the Australian marketplace, our full year 2015 after-tax loss of $291.2 million is an improvement on the year prior (31 December 2014 $353.5 million).
Our loss for 2015 reflects the continued impacts of low global thermal and metallurgical coal prices, as well as the limited opportunities for price improvement during what continues to be an oversupplied marketplace.
We were also not immune to the impacts of China’s National Development and Reform Commission’s introduction of new quality coal restrictions for imports into the regions of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta.
I am pleased to report we achieved 2015’s production targets without any significant injuries, with sites continuing to demonstrate improvements over the past four years in reported Total Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates and Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rates.
We remain focused on achieving our goal of zero injuries and will not stray from our commitment to protecting our people.
The year ahead will be a time of significant change and new opportunities for our business, as Yancoal implements the terms of our newly secured debt funding arrangement, as announced 17 February 2016.
This substantial arrangement demonstrates China’s continuing commitment to our long-term business strategy and belief in our capabilities to both manage and grow our assets within a currently constrained market.
As has been consistently proven, time teaches us the value of maintaining courage, patience and focus during these difficult times.
With our new debt-funding arrangement and the capital secured previously by the issuing of Subordinated Capital Notes in December 2014, Yancoal remains well positioned to deliver on the promise of its future success.
With the support of our financiers and Yancoal’s major shareholders, I believe we have the leadership, experience, and long-term strategy required to build a brighter future for all.
Chairman of the Board