The visit, coupled with interest from a number of Indian energy companies, has “highlighted knowledge and interest in the Surat Basin as a major thermal coal province with the quality of the coal suited for export markets’, the company said.
“While all discussions are at a very early stage, MetroCoal is pleased with the level of interest currently being shown,” it said.
“This interest is consistent with current media publications forecasting strong demand for thermal coal in the future.”
MetroCoal has committed approximately $3 million to this program of work for Bundi and has taken the view that progress will continue despite the tough market conditions.
“Engaging consultants to work with our field staff and undertake a number of activities clearly differentiates the Bundi project, particularly to potential investors considering a joint venture interest,” the company said.
“The June quarter delivered a very positive start to the 2013 drilling and evaluation program. With 10 bore holes planned, to date six have been completed and the results are already with independent laboratories for analysis.”
The purpose of drilling these 10 holes is to further define the Bundi thermal coal resource including the delivery of data on groundwater, geotechnical, gas desorption and infill drilling.
This data will be used in the application for a mining lease expected to be lodged in late 2013.
“With early work underway for the environmental impact statement (EIS) process, consultation with key stakeholders is also planned, the company said.
“MetroCoal held a very successful information evening with many landholders from the Bundi project area on July 23.
“While at a very early stage of the EIS process, it is very important that the already positive relationships with landholders be maintained through proactive and open communication.”