December 21, 2015
Moreton Resources says the State Government could save between $2 billion and $3 billion if it negotiated a 20-year agreement to buy coal from Moreton’s proposed South Burnett coal mine.
The company released the results of its long-awaited pre-feasibilty study into the coal project to the ASX on Monday morning.
The study, completed by AMC Consultants Pty Ltd, predicts a domestic supply availability of 5.5 Mt per annum, over a production life of 42 years.
However, Moreton Resources CEO Jason Elks notes the study only covers one-third of the total coal resource now controlled by the company, excluding most of the former Cockatoo Coal area (EPC 882) which he believes has similar potential.
“The Company is now reviewing alternate options to maximize the potential coal resource of approximately 880Mt of Indicated (712.6Mt) and Measured (166.2Mt) coal resources,” the statement to the ASX noted.
In a presentation to investors made in October, Moreton set out a timeline for the mine which included environmental assessment of the project to be completed by the end of 2016 with mine development to begin in 2017.
But it admitted this timeline was dependent upon external factors, including local community and government support.
“Advancement of the project will continue to seek community support and engagement with the relevant government bodies to support and assist fast-tracking this project,” the statement to the ASX reported.
“We will also seek a determination as to if this project suits a declaration of being of significant State interest.
“The company will now seek to engage at all levels of government to advance this project and realise the potential benefits to the Local, State and Federal levels of government.
“In conjunction with this, the company continues to engage at length with the South Burnett community to develop its social licence to operate, having broad engagement with a variety of landholders, community groups, stakeholder groups and relevant government services.
“This includes the intention to launch in early 2016 a South Burnett Project Development Interest Group for the project that is designed to work through and promote the issues, concerns and advance dialogue between all parties within the South Burnett. This will ensure an avenue for all opinions to be heard and considered.”
The statement to the ASX included a projected design for the mine, which is envisaged as an open cut operation with back-filling as the mine progresses.
A dry coal separation plant is also proposed to minimise water consumption by the mine.
If the coal is to be used at the nearby Tarong power stations, an enclosed conveyor belt is Moreton’s preferred transport solution.
The company projects that between 100-150 personnel would be employed during the development stage of the project, “250+” during infrastructure construction and “400+” during operations (FTEs).
The pre-feasibilty study projects profits of between $2-2.4 billion over 40 years, based on a targeted revenue of $11-$12 billion for 42 years.