July 18, 2018 / 11:24 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's South32 beats annual coking coal output guidance

(Adds background, detail, manganese production)

July 19 (Reuters) - Australian miner South32 Ltd beat its coking coal output guidance for fiscal 2018 on Thursday, boosted by better than expected production at its Illawarra project even as fourth-quarter output dipped 24 percent.

Coking coal production fell to 1.1 million tonnes in the June quarter from 1.4 million tonnes a year earlier, but was ahead of a UBS estimate of 818,000 tonnes.

South32, made up of non-core assets spun off by mining giant BHP in 2015, posted full-year coking coal output of 3.2 million tonnes. The miner had forecast full-year coking coal production of 3 million tonnes.

South32 added that it expects to record one-off charges of about $60 million in its full-year 2018 results on account of a reorganization. The miner is scheduled to report its annual results on August 23.

The world No. 1 manganese producer posted a 2.1 rise in quarterly manganese ore production, while annual manganese output rose 10 percent amid stronger demand and pricing.

In April, South32 bid $1.3 billion to take full control of Arizona Mining, offering a hefty premium for the Toronto-listed firm which is developing zinc, lead, manganese and silver assets. (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru Editing by Richard Pullin)

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