Bathurst lifts Buller coal totals

Coal miner Bathurst's shares ticked up 10 per cent yesterday to 55 cents on news it had increased its reserves and resources estimates at its Buller project on the West Coast after an extensive drilling programme.

The share price rose from 50c at the start of the day to 55c at the close of trading.

The Australian-based company said it had completed a drilling programme of 154 holes across its North and South Buller permits, and the reserves in its South Buller area had increased by 76 per cent to 23.8 million tonnes of coal, from 13.52mt.

The majority of the increase was at its Whareatea West permit where reserves tripled to 10.3mt from 2.9mt.

Whareatea reserves are larger than the company's flagship mining project, Escarpment on the Denniston Plateau, where reserves rose 23 per cent to 3.8mt from 3.1mt.

Maiden reserves were announced also for the Cascade mine, 0.6mt, and Coalbrookdale 1.6mt.

Managing director Hamish Bohannan said resources were the company's estimates of coal in the ground while reserves were its formal documented plan for an amount of coal the company planned to recover.

The company has mining permits for the Escarpment, Coalbrookdale and Cascade.

The mining permits for the Cascade and Coalbrookdale had enabled it to book those maiden coal reserves.

Bathurst has had the mining permits for some time.

It usually updated its reserves after a significant drilling programme and also once a year, Bohannan said. Fairfax NZ

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