May 20, 2016
Trading in Moreton Resources’ shares was halted on the ASX on Thursday at the request of the company pending a market announcement.
The ASX alert said the halt would continue until the commencement of trading on Monday morning, or whenever the announcement was made.
Earlier this week, Moreton Resources managing director Jason Elks presented an update to South Burnett councillors about the company’s proposed open-cut coal mine south of Kingaroy.
The presentation, a copy of which was lodged with the ASX, said the company intended to build “one of the most cost-effective mining operations in the State”.
The aim was “to develop a mine with a focus on international markets which need Australian coal, but also keeping options open for domestic supply in Qld / NSW”.
“We have explored the potential to sell this product off-shore, and believe we have a product and potential for a long-term offshore market and will continue to pursue those opportunities,” councillors were told.
“We believe there are potential domestic supply options, provided transport solutions become available, and there is a willingness to act competitively.”
As previously reported, Moreton subsidiary MRV Tarong Basin Pty Ltd referred the project to the Federal Department of the Environment on May 12 to seek a determination that the project is a “controlled action”, the first step in a long process of gaining approval to mine the area.
In the referral, Moreton said it proposed to mine up to 10 million tonnes per year, targeting domestic and export markets.
“The proponent is yet to submit (a) Mining Lease Application (MLA). It is expected this will be lodged after the Initial Advice Statement process which will be lodged with the Department of State Development in Queensland in the coming weeks so as to complement this Commonwealth application, seeking to have the bi-lateral assessment process undertaken between the Commonwealth and the State of Queensland,” the referral submitted.
“The Mining Lease Application will follow several months after, provided the project is declared a ‘Significant Project’ by the Queensland Co-ordinator General.
“The project will involve the mining of up to 13.6 tonnes of run-of-mine coal (per annum) to produce 10 tonnes of product coal (per annum) from a number of open pits.
“The mine will have an expected mine life of over 30 years (subject to further resource definition work currently being undertaken).
“The mine will be an open cut strip mining operation using a mixed fleet of large and small hydraulic excavators and haul trucks.”
The referral said the run-of-mine coal would then be hauled on internal roads to a facility where it would be crushed.
The final product would be conveyed to domestic customers by conveyor belt, slurry pipe or rail; and to export customers by slurry pipeline or rail.”
Under the Act, Environment Minister Greg Hunt has 20 business days from the receipt of a valid referral to decide if the proposal triggers any matters protected by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and thus requires a formal assessment and approval.
As part of the 20 business days, the EPBC Act provides a public comment period of 10 business days, with no extensions.
southburnett.com.au calculates that this window for public comment will close on May 26.
Documents submitted by MRV Tarong Basin Pty Ltd as part of this referral describe its proposed Mining Lease Application area.
The area overlaps part of Moreton Resources’ MDL385 (the Cougar Energy area) and part of the exploration permit area that it acquired from Cockatoo Coal.
Thirty-five lots in the vicinity of Bellbird Road at Coolabunia are described (see image above).