West Coast coal bonanza for Bathurst
Western Australian coal miner Bathurst's shares jumped today on news that the Buller Coal project on the West Coast contains bigger coal reserves than first estimated.
The share price rose from 50c at the start of the day to 57c by early afternoon, up 14 per cent.
The company said after an extensive drilling programme of 154 holes across its North and South Buller permits, the reserves in its South Buller area had increased 76 per cent to 23.8 million tonnes of coal.
That was largely from an increase of 9.6mt in its Whareatea West, Coalbrookdale and Cascade coal permits.
Whareatea had increased from 2.9mt to 10.3m and maiden reserves had been announced for Cascade, 0.6mt, and Coalbrookdale, 1.6mt.
Bathurst also said company-wide coal resources rose 11 per cent to 94.5 million tonnes. Of that 91.4mt are in the South and North Buller areas.
Bathurst's Buller project area covers 10,000 hectares of the Buller Coal Field, and the project area surrounds state coal miner Solid Energy's Stockton open cast mine near Westport. Bathurst bought the Buller project from fellow Australian-owned L&M Coal in late 2010.
Most of the coking coal from the Buller Coal Field is exported to overseas steel mills.
The flagship mine of Bathurst's Buller project is the Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau, north of Westport.
In August 2011, the mine obtained consents from the Westport Council and the Buller District Council.
However, these have been appealed in the Environment Court with the appeal to be heard at the end of October.
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