MARKETS

Eastern on track in New Zealand

NEW Zealand’s Eastern Corporation has reported its Cascade and Takitimu mines on the South Island are performing to expectation, reaching 34,540 tonnes of coal sold, bringing in total sales of $A2.42 million for the September quarter.

Claire Svircas
Eastern on track in New Zealand

Overburden removal at Cascade reached 135,840 bank cubic metres of low ash, low sulphur coal.

A new sizing screen was installed at the site in August to enhance coal processing and two new 40t HM400 articulated dump trucks have been ordered and will be onsite at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, at the Takitimu coal mine 32,381t of sub-bituminous coal has been extracted, of which 21,855t was sold to local industry for a total of $1.175 million.

The company said it was happy to report that the mine’s major contract to supply up to 130,000 tonnes per annum to Fonterra’s dairy processing plant commenced September 1, 2008, with all site works in preparation for the agreement completed ahead of schedule, including the rail load-out and product stockpile areas.

The company said freight operations for Fonterra had also proved successful with daily trains being loaded and despatched well within allocated time frames.

Even though no activities were undertaken in the September quarter at the Whareatea West project of the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Rochfort Coal Mining, the exploration permit was extended until December 2011.

In Australian operations, the company last month accepted an offer to purchase its 90% stake in the Broughton Coal project in Queensland for a consideration of $10 million from Queensland Coal, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto.

Eastern Corporation reported a deposit has been received and the transaction, subject to certain conditions, is expected to be finalised in December.

In other news, Galilee Energy, of which Eastern owns 66%, signed a contract with AGL Energy and Ensign Australia to secure a drill rig for the Glenaras production pilot at the ATP 529P prospect near Longreach in central Queensland.

Eastern has reported Glenaras 4 was spudded on October 7 and reached a total depth of 1103m, and Glenaras 2 was spudded on October 18.

The program is scheduled for completion in early December.

Galilee is now focused on progressing the exploration of its second prospect, ATP 799P, and has devised a seismic and appraisal drilling program to start in 2009.

During the quarter a non-renounceable rights issue to fund the program was announced and raised $1.833 million, despite the intention to raise around $4.48 million.

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