NSL Consolidated (ASX: NSL) is edging closer to the formal grant of four thermal coal tenements in Queensland after receiving proposed granting of exploration permits for the final three tenements from the state government.
The government has proposed to grant exploration permits for the close proximity EPCs 2336, 2337 and 2338.
These EPCs will be advertised in March this year, with notification in April.
EPC 2198 is well progressed in the granting process, with the formal grant expected in the near term.
Together the four tenements cover a total of 2,585 square kilometres in the Eromanga Basin.
Independent geologists have set a combined exploration target for the tenements of between 6.6 billion tonnes and 18.7 billion tonnes of thermal coal.
Highlighting the potential of the newly acquired projects is the strategic location adjacent to East Energy Resources' (ASX: EER) Blackall Coal Project and International Coal's (ASX: ICX) South Blackall Project.
NSL managing director Cedric Goode said the news gave greater certainty for progressing the tenements.
"The Queensland Government is to be congratulated for its expeditious approach to the granting process as it now positions NSL to deliver certainty to our Native Title and land owner negotiations, site access and initial schedules and contracting required to commence first exploration in the field," Goode said.
Dual bulk commodity focus
In addition to its coal projects in Queensland, NSL is also targeting the commencement of cash flows from its Indian iron ore operations.
This dual bulk commodity focus gives NSL the opportunity to link its maiden iron ore start-up operations and first revenues with its exploration and development of the Queensland thermal coal assets, given the shortage of electricity and power in the Indian domestic market and that country's impending demand for thermal coal.