White Energy results betray progress

DIVERSIFIED coal company White Energy Company has spent the second quarter pursuing potential coal upgrading and exploration projects across the globe.
White Energy results betray progress White Energy results betray progress White Energy results betray progress White Energy results betray progress White Energy results betray progress

White Energy's Binderless Coal Briquetting process.

Staff Reporter

The Australian-listed company reported a net loss of $A6.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, mostly due to administrative costs, including legal fees.

White Energy is the exclusive worldwide licensee of the Binderless Coal Briquetting technology, a mechanical process that upgrades high-moisture, low-value sub-bituminous and lignite coals, and more recently coal fines, through a process of dehydration and compaction.

During the second quarter, White Energy progressed its coal technology business across three continents.

River Energy, a joint venture established between White Energy and Black River Asset Management, continued to examine various project opportunities within the South African coal market.

In addition to the ongoing feasibility and test work being undertaken across several locations during the quarter, the joint venture also continued to conduct detailed due diligence on an opportunity to construct a BCB plant for coal fines in the Witibank coal fields.

River Energy also continued to work with a ‘large South African producer’ on a definitive feasibility study that could involve BCB technology, as well as with local utility Eskom to raise awareness of the BCB opportunity in the South African market.

River Energy said that despite many new opportunities being presented to the company, its current focus was on the many opportunities under review.

In North America, White Energy continued to work on obtaining air permits on its proposed coal upgrading projects in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

The minor air source permit for the proposed BCB plant to be built on the Buckskin mine was submitted to local authorities in January 2013 and is expected to be issued within the next month.

A similar application will be lodged shortly for the Peabody plant, also in Wyoming.

White Energy commented that due to permitting delays for export terminals for many of the companies operating in the PRB, it may take a number of years for White Energy’s own projects, in cooperation with these companies, to come to fruition.

The company added that its current focus in the US was on the upgrading of coal fines which, once briquetted, can be sold into the silicon, ferrosilicon and sized coal markets.

White Energy continues to test coal fine samples collected globally at its Cessnock production plant in Australia, which following a recent modification, can process a larger variety of test coals including lignite, sub-bituminous and bituminous.

Also on the technology front, the company has been approached regarding potential joint venture opportunities in other coutnries and is currently reviewing some major electricity producers in China, Mongolia and Indonesia.

Under its coal mining and exploration wing, White Energy has been working in the US, Indoensia and Australia.

In April, the company decided not to go ahead with its acquisition of mining properties in Central Appalachia but said it continues due diligence on one specific project while examining other potential avenues in the US.

A number of tenements in Indonesia are under advanced due diligence and analysis, some of which would require BCB coal upgrading, others which would produce saleable coal without use of the technology.

Finally, through subsidiary South Australian Coals, White Energy has been evaluating coal exploration and coal gasification projects at its Lake Philipson deposit in South Australia.

White Energy’s ongoing legal battle with Bayan and Bayan International is under appeal in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

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