One of the most important characteristics to be considered in the Illinois Basin is the chlorine content, according to Paringa.
A significant portion of future coal production from the Illinois Basin is high chlorine coal with dry chlorine contents greater than 0.20% (levels which are typically corrosive to boilers) and currently must be blended domestically with lower chlorine coals (less than 0.20%) or exported to seaborne markets in Europe.
The average weighted chlorine content of the 2015 drilling is a low 0.09% and so has an advantage over many other new developments in the Illinois Basin which typically have values exceeding 0.35%.
Paringa USA CEO David Gay said: “Excellent coal qualities, high in-seam yields above 92%, and consistent coal seam thicknesses provides the potential for the proposed Buck Creek No. 2 Mine to be a high productivity, low chlorine, thermal coal development for the lucrative Ohio River market. We are delighted with our progress to date and look forward to finalising the technical study around mid-2015.”
The Buck Creek No. 2 mine tenements lie to the south of Buck Creek No. 1 Mine’s proposed 3.8 million tonne per annum coal operation.
Paringa completed the development drilling program at the Buck Creek No. 2 Mine to assist with the initial engineering design and orientation of the planned mine portal, as part of the technical study due for completion around mid-2015.
Shallow coal seam depth at the planned mine portal and the ability to use the planned infrastructure at the adjacent Buck Creek No. 1 Mine should provide for a low capex development at Buck Creek No. 2.