Making bricks out of coal tailings

BOWEN Basin explorer Rocklands Richfield and major shareholder Jindal Steel & Power have entered into a joint venture to manufacture house bricks out of coal waste in India.
Making bricks out of coal tailings Making bricks out of coal tailings Making bricks out of coal tailings Making bricks out of coal tailings Making bricks out of coal tailings

The flag of India

Blair Price

Rocklands rejected a A56c per share takeover offer from Jindal back in February, but other opportunities came up during the negotiations in India.


Jindal was disposing of its coal tailings and waste by backfilling mined-out areas.


Rocklands manufactures metallurgical coke in China and proposed using available Chinese technology to produce sintered bricks from the coal waste.


“The process does not require an external fuel source to produce the heat required to fuse the brick particles together, making it energy-efficient,” the Perth-based company said.


“Sintered bricks have a higher compressive strength and are harder than clay-fired bricks. They are also lighter, size for size, than clay bricks.


“Both parties see this as an environmentally friendly project and foresee a huge demand in India for the bricks.”


The new JV is looking at a $US10 million plant capable of producing 150,000 tonnes of the bricks per annum, with the option of ramping up to 600,000tpa in up to three years.


The first of two planned production lines could be up and running by April 2011.


Both companies will also work together to advance Rocklands’ coking coal projects in Queensland, with Jindal agreeing to produce draft development plans.


Rocklands’ Hillalong project 100km west of Mackay has total JORC-compliant coal resources of 61.3 million tonnes, while its namesake project 40km south of Blackwater has total resources of 880Mt.


Over to China, Jindal has agreed to help Rocklands start a feasibility study for its coke oven expansion project to increase coke production by 800,000t.


Under the agreements struck this week, Jindal will also win a board position in Rocklands should its stakeholding of the junior get above 14%.


Rocklands chairman Benny Wu said the agreements with Jindal were an unexpected breakthrough.


Jindal holds 13.6% of Rocklands.


Shares in Rocklands closed down half a cent to 25c yesterday.