Northern pools data during tough times

WITHOUT drilling, explorer Northern Energy has been able to boost the geological data of its Maryborough hard coking coal project, with help from both Queensland’s Department of Mines and Energy and coal seam gas explorer Blue Energy.
Northern pools data during tough times Northern pools data during tough times Northern pools data during tough times Northern pools data during tough times Northern pools data during tough times


Blair Price

Northern said the DME scanned and released copies of the historical drilling records for the Maryborough Basin area in March.

The explorer said its model for the area had previously relied on DME data available from published annual reports, apart from the results of its own drilling.

The addition of 338 partly cored holes into Northern’s geological model is underway.

“These 338 historical holes add to the 50 holes already drilled by Northern Energy, and increases confidence in the new resource estimates currently being calculated,” the company said.

“The new model will also allow for more targeted drilling for the initial proposed Colton mine area and for resource extension drilling over the eastern, southern and western limbs of the basin.”

Northern is also looking at seismic data gathered by Blue Energy and shared under an agreement.

The explorer said it is reinterpreting the data along the shallow margins of the basin.

During the March quarter, Northern started negotiations with Gladstone Port Corporation for port access, with the upcoming Wiggins Island Coal Terminal being targeted for the Maryborough and Elimatta projects.

WorleyParsons is working on a mine development study for Northern’s Elimatta thermal coal project in southeast Queensland’s Surat Basin.

Northern said studies were examining the potential to increase mine output to around 5 million tonnes per annum, compared with the previous 4Mtpa base case.

Following previous announcements, Northern said it had received a number of approaches from a diverse range of potential investors for both the Maryborough and Elimatta projects.

“Discussions have yet to be definitive and the process is ongoing. The combination of the difficult financial conditions across the world and the reduction in coal demand impacting on current industry conditions is impeding progress to a conclusive investment outcome,” the company said.

Northern shares remained unchanged at 35c.

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