Australia's South32 interim profit slumps on weak coal output, lower prices

Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

Adds details from paragraph 2 onwards

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Australian diversified miner South32 Ltd S32.AX reported a 93% drop in its first-half underlying earnings on Thursday, hurt by a weak metallurgical coal output and lower commodity prices.

Declining output at South32's flagship Illawara project due to two planned longwall moves during the first half of the year impacted the miner's profit.

Underlying earnings for the six months ended Dec. 31 was $40 million, compared with $560 million a year earlier.

For the first half, the company declared an interim dividend of 0.4 cents per share, down from last year's 4.9 cents apiece.

The company also said it has approved $2.16 billion the development of Taylor zinc-lead deposit, its first mine at the Hermosa project in Arizona, United States.

(Reporting by Echha Jain and Sneha Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)


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