Liberty Resources (ASX: LBY) has been awarded a prized coal tenement in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, that is located in close proximity to the world's largest coking coal producers and rail infrastructure.
Notably, EPC 1949 is expected to host the productive Rangal and Fort Cooper Coal Measures with any coal likely to be of the same high quality as that being mined in nearby mines.
EPC 1949 is located:
- About 10 kilometres southeast of BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP)/Mitsui's Poitrel coking coal mine;
- About 700 metres south of BHP/Misubishi's Daunia project Mining Lease boundary;
- Immediately west of Peabody Australia's (NYSE: BTU) Olive Downs North Mining Lease; and
- Approximately 6 kilometres east of Vale/Aquila's Eagle Downs deposit.
"The granting of EPC 1949 is a new play for Liberty and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Liberty and its shareholders," managing director Andrew Haythorpe said.
"We find ourselves in a rare position for a small company being completely surrounded by some of the world's major coal companies, within a prolific coal producing basin.
"There is the exciting potential for the discovery of coal on our permit and numerous monetisation options available to us should exploration prove successful.
"The company believes this tenement has the potential to add significant value for shareholders and eagerly awaits commencing exploration drilling in the coming months."
Exploration drilling is set to start within the month once logistics have been finalised and weather window presents.
This will target extensions to adjacent shallow, high quality coal deposits.
Liberty has received formal notification of the grant of EPC 1949, which covers about 30 square kilometres, from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
Besides the mines and deposits it is close to, the tenement is also in close proximity to an existing rail system that connects to two major coal export ports.
Prior to the granting of EPC 1949, Liberty completed an extensive literary review and modelled the coal seams in the permit area using historical exploration data.
This concluded that the Rangal Coal Measures and the Fort Cooper Coal Measures are likely to occur on EPC 1949 and that any coal on the permit is likely to be high quality Bowen Basin coal similar to that being mined at the nearby mines.
BHP's Poitrel mine has a production capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum while production at Daunia started earlier this month and is expected to ramp up to 4.5Mtpa in 2014.
The award of EPC 1949 grants Liberty Resources a highly prospective coal tenement located within a prolific coal basin.
Its proximity to major mines and infrastructure significantly de-risks exploration and development while paving the way for rapid progress in the event of successful exploration.
For Liberty, the tenement also gives it a pure coal play, diversifying from its coal gasification operations.
Securing the prize EPC surrounded by some of the the world's major coal companies (BHP/RioTinto/Peabody/Vale) is a coup.
This provides significant potential for value accretion with nearby operating mines, rail (~2km away) and coal
infrastructure offer good, low cost, commercialisation potential.
With an an exploration drilling programme set to commence within the month this offers near term news flow and opportunity for uplift in share price in the near term and medium term.
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