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Bathurst Resources pushes on with consent applications

Tuesday 1st February 2011

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Bathurst Resources says it is moving ahead with efforts to gain resource consents for its plans to mine at the Buller Coalfield on the West Coast, after delays following the Pike River coal mine disaster.

Perth-based Bathurst Resources completed the purchase of the Buller coal project from L&M Coal Holdings during the December quarter. The total acquisition cost was US$40 million, with two further performance costs of US$40 million each when the project moves into production.

In its activities report for the December quarter, Bathurst Resources said its focus for the period had been completing a definitive feasibility study for the Escarpment and Deep Creek blocks at the Buller project.

The study estimated the capital cost of the Buller project to be about US$50 million.

Bathurst Resources is aiming to produce premium hard coking coal from the Buller project in the December quarter of 2011, with production reaching two million tonnes per annum by late 2013.

The company said that in the March quarter, regulatory approvals and consents for the development of the Buller project, as well as the establishment of key contracts for the construction of a coal preparation plant and related facilities, were its key focus.

The start of operations at the Buller project was conditional on receiving resource consents and access and concession permits from the Department of Conservation.

Progress on the applications had been delayed in the wake of the tragedy at Pike River, Bathurst Resources said.

"In early 2011 however, Bathurst resumed discussions with the local communities and regulatory bodies to progress these applications for the Buller project," the company said.

An explosion at Pike River, also on the West Coast, in November killed 29 men.

Bathurst Resources shares last traded yesterday at $1.30, having been as high as $1.46 last week after climbing from 75c in early December.



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