Situated in the South Kalimantan province, TCM holds a JORC-compliant resource of 129 million tonnes of coal with seams estimated to have a mining height of 4m.
The project attracted interest from Beijing-based coal mine design and engineering institute BHEC-CCTEG, underground development contractor Huamei and underground contract miner ZIEC.
Pan Asia said BHEC-CCTEG was confident that recovery assumptions made at TCM had been extremely conservative – and that the project could substantially increase its projected recovery rates.
Huamei, which specializes in underground coal mine tunnelling, is already undertaking development work at an underground coal project 50km west of TCM.
ZIEC, a 20-year veteran of Chinese underground coal mining, also boasts practical experience in Indonesia through its work at the Bengkulu mine in West Sumatra.
Pan Asia expects contracts with Chinese underground specialists to boost recoveries at TCM and hence offset the impact of recent falls in thermal coal prices.
The company said the technical improvements – when combined with an expected boon in mid-term coal prices – should maximize TCM’s value.
“With the recent peer review of our base case study, it became strikingly clear that significant value can be added to the TCM project by upgrading the mine plan to substantially uplift recoveries,” Pan Asia chief executive Alan Hopkins said.
“The early engagement with key underground mining contractors already operating locally provides additional practical support in the development planning process.”