July 27, 2014
Moreton Resources CEO Jason Elks expects to have a Mine Concept Study completed for the compnay’s Coolabunia resource within the next two to three weeks.
This plan, which is being prepared by an external consultant, follows on from the release last week of an updated “JORC” statement for the coal reserve which shows triple the amount of coal previously measured.
Mr Elks said the Mine Concept Plan would consider the quality of the coal in the deposits, pricing issues and the “mineable” tonnage of coal.
“We need at least 80 million mineable tonnes, which we think we can do,” Mr Elks told southburnett.com.au
A deposit of 80 million tonnes would ensure a mine life of 15 years.
Moreton Resources will be pitching at selling the coal to the nearby Tarong power stations.
“If we can prove its commercially viable, market forces will take care of the rest,” Mr Elks said.
“The strip ratio will be the main telling factor. If it’s 8:1 or better we will be very happy.”
(The strip ratio refers to the amount of overburden that has to be removed at a mine site before the coal can be accessed.)
Mr Elks said the coal mine at Coolabunia would only proceed if it was economical to run, and if there was support for it – both environmental and community.
“We are not about to come into a region that does not want (a mine),” he said.
However, Mr Elks said he was confident the economic benefits would be enough to convince most local residents of the benefits of the project.
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Moreton Resources – the rebadged and restructured Cougar Energy – had a turbulent end to 2013.
On November 28, the company’s shareholders voted by a substantial majority against the re-election of the previous Board and management.
The Board and management resigned one hour prior to the annual general meeting.
Moreton is now focusing on its conventional coal assets and resolving “legacy issues” associated with the previous underground coal gasification (UCG) trial at Coolabunia.
Mr Elks said the company had undergone a significant transformation in 2014 following the exit of the previous Cougar Energy Board and management in late 2013.
“The incoming Moreton Resources Board and Management have set a new direction for the company which focuses on the core values of environment, community, safety and sustainable mining to guide its strategy,” he said.