June 30, 2014
Coolabunia farmers looking forward to the removal of the last traces of the failed underground coal gasification project could be facing the prospect of an open cut coal mine on the site – but the true potential of the coal reserve won’t be known until next month.
Moreton Resources, the totally restructured company that was formerly Cougar Energy, has been investigating the mining potential of the area.
The company’s latest review of the potential of MDL385 had been expected to be delivered to the ASX in June, but has been delayed.
In a statement to the ASX today, Moreton CEO Jason Elks said the “JORC” review of the thermal coal asset was continuing and it was not likely that the company would be in a position to update the market until July.
Cougar Energy, the operators of the failed UCG trial, was restructured into Moreton Resources in late 2013, and a new Board and Executive Management team voted in by shareholders.
Mr Elks confirmed to southburnett.com.au recently that Moreton had no interest in pursuing UCG technology but the company was interested in determining the thermal coal potential of its Kingaroy resource.
Depending on the results of the latest JORC analysis, he believes Moreton could be in a position to deliver coal to the nearby Tarong Power stations from an open cut mine at a cheaper cost than the current Meandu mine.
The last JORC review of the resource was conducted in 2008, with an inferred resource of 28MT reported.
However a later desktop review has led Moreton to believe the resource estimate could be significantly larger.
“As of last Friday, the company has requested further coal quality work to be undertaken over the next two weeks that is expected to have a significant impact upon the overall resource classification,” the statement to the ASX said today.
“In saying this, at this stage of the review, the company is extremely positive about the likely outcome and is expecting a significant increase to the 2008 JORC Resource.
“Based upon the work completed to date, the company is pleased to announce that it has decided to move forward with developing a high level mining concept for this asset, and this is also expected to be due for release in July / August.
“We look forward to updating you further upon the Kingaroy asset when these two projects are completed.”
UPDATE July 2: Mr Elks said today the JORC results were expected to have a “significant positive impact on the over all result”.
“As such, we have committed to advance to a high level mining concept study, that will provide the company with a greater understanding of the commercial viability and potential design of any future mining operations.
“As I have said, this is a highly contemplative project and the company continues to advance its Bowen Basin prospects with drilling expected to start in early August, however the Kingaroy project at this stage, also continues to show positive results and we will continue to consider the prospects of advancing Kingaroy.”