Aquila scouts for offshore partners

AQUILA Resources is ready to sell up to 40% of its wholly-owned open cut Washpool Coking Coal project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
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Aquila Resources executive chairman Tony Poli

Blair Price

Aquila executive chairman Tony Poli told International Longwall News he expected the concept study for Washpool to be out within two weeks.

The project is located just west of Wesfarmers’ Curragh open cut mine.

On the prospective sale of the project, Poli said this could go to a sole party or multiple partners.

He said Aquila was also looking to offload up to 20% of its Avontuur manganese project in South Africa.

“We are interested in any offshore partners for either project,” he said.

Poli said typically purchasers would also negotiate offtake arrangements, hopefully creating a win-win scenario for both companies.

From December, Brazilian mining giant Vale also has a six-month option to purchase Aquila’s remaining 24.5% stake of its Belvedere longwall project in Queensland.

Poli said there had been no negotiations at this stage with Vale over the possible sale.

He also confirmed the option of using the longwall top coal caving process for mining at the Eagle Downs coal project, in the Bowen Basin, was still on the table.

“That [LTCC] is one of the aspects under consideration because of the thickness of two of the seams.”

Belvedere has 3.87 billion tonnes of resources, including 1.53Bt indicated and 2.34Bt inferred.

For initial development, Aquila aims to have one longwall producing 4 million tonnes of coking coal at Eagle Downs.

The company has also flagged a mine life of up to 37 years with two longwalls producing 7-8Mtpa.

However, Aquila has previously said the second longwall timing was subject to additional port allocation.

Shares in Aquila are up 21c to $4.45 this morning.

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