Buller coal project reserves jump 37%
Recoverable coal reserves have jumped by more than a third at Bathurst Resources’ Buller coal project, driven by increases at the proposed Escarpment and Whareatea prospects, both of which still require resource consents before proceeding.
The 37 percent increase in reserves for the whole Buller project, cited at the northern and southern ends of the Denniston Plateau above Westport, takes recoverable reserves to 17.3 million tonnes from 12.6 million tonnes, including the first firm identification of 4.4 million tonnes of recoverable coal at Whareatea West.
The increase in reserves at Escarpment also takes that site’s recoverable reserves to 4.4 million tonnes, a 10 percent increase.
Also increased is Bathurst’s estimated total resource, up 12 percent to 81.7 million tonnes, reflecting inclusion for the first time of indicated and inferred resources from the Brookdale mine, which Bathurst recently acquired, and is scheduled to produce its first export coal shipment early next year.
The maiden resource at what the project calls Coalbrookdale is 9.7 million tonnes, 4 million tonnes indicated and a further 5.7 million tonnes inferred.
At Whareatea West, the reserves were generated from “less than 20 percent of the total resources, which in turn over only 40 percent of the surface area of the block”, said Bathurst managing director Hamish Bohannan.
The Buller coal project is pursuing high value, high temperature coking coal, required for use in steel-making. Bathurst intends shipping most of its production from Westport to New Plymouth for export, with options also to share rail space on the Midland line to Lyttelton with the monopoly holder of volume on the track, Solid Energy.
The announcement during the midday break on the NZX, and no Bathurst shares traded this morning, having closed previously at 95 cents.
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