PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study by junior MetroCoal has found that its Bundi thermal coal project, in the Surat basin, could deliver some five-million tons a year of coal, over a 28-year life-of-mine.
With an initial capital expenditure of some A$994-million, the project was estimated to have a net present value of between A$600-million and A$660-million and an internal rate of return of between 16% and 17%.
The primary objective of the scoping study was to identify the viability of longwall mining and the washability of the mining section, as well as to assess the fundamental economics of the project.
“Completion of the scoping study for the Bundi project is the culmination of many months of technical evaluation. We are very pleased that the results confirm the project is financially viable,” said MetroCoal CEO Mike O’Brien.
The scoping study assumed that construction would start in mid-2015, and predicted that first development coal would be delivered by the end of 2016. Longwall installation was scheduled for 2018, with the operation reaching full production by 2019.
The project would require the construction of the Surat basin railway, as well as access to export capacity at a coal terminal in the Port of Gladstone.
O’Brien noted that work would now continue on environmental approvals and preparation of a prefeasibility study.