South Galilee project stake up for sale

BANDANNA Energy is putting its large stake of the $A1.5 billion South Galilee open cut and underground project on the table as it continues to seek possible deals with its portfolio of Queensland coal projects.
South Galilee project stake up for sale South Galilee project stake up for sale South Galilee project stake up for sale South Galilee project stake up for sale South Galilee project stake up for sale

South Galilee project drilling, image courtesy of Bandanna.

Blair Price

“UBS is providing assistance with a transaction process which may involve the partial or total divestment of one or more of its assets, including those of the South Galilee project,” Bandanna said.

Private resources company AMCI is set to earn up to half of this project from Bandanna by funding $25 million of exploration and development.

Referencing an AFR report which stated both joint venture partners will consider selling their entire stakes of the project, Bandanna provided a clarification.

“Bandanna has no agreement with AMCI regarding the transaction process,” the company said.

“However, and although AMCI is not actively seeking to divest its interest in the SPG, if a party involved in the transaction process wishes to submit an expression of interest for 100% of the SGP then both AMCI and Bandanna will jointly evaluate it.”

AMCI, driven by American billionaire Hans Mende, has been a canny investor in Australia’s coal space over the years.

Major Brazilian iron ore giant Vale dived into Australian coal by purchasing a portfolio of mines and projects from AMCI for $835 million in February 2007.

The South Galilee thermal coal project is aiming for 15-20 million tonnes per annum of output over 43 years from the unexploited Galilee Basin.

The project encompasses four permits and the prefeasibility study is on track for completion by the end of March.

Billionaires Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart have their own major rail and mining projects in the unexploited basin.

Palmer’s Waratah Coal joint venture with Metallurgical Corporation of China is targeting 40Mtpa in the China First project.

Rinehart is advancing two 30Mtpa Galilee projects through Hancock Coal, with both of these projects being marketed to potential overseas buyers.

Indian conglomerate Adani Group is pursuing its $10 billion-plus, 60Mtpa Carmichael open cut and underground coal mine and rail project in the basin.

Bandanna’s “golden triangle” of thermal coal projects in the southern Bowen Basin are also open for either a full or partial sale.

The explorer is aiming for more than 20Mtpa of production from its wholly owned Springsure Creek, Arcturus and Arcadia projects, with all the tenements within 50 kilometres of each other.

The Arcturus project holds 44.3Mt of marketable reserves with 26.9Mt suitable for underground mining.

The conceptual plan is to target up to six seams through open cut mining, leading to the development of punch longwall panels to access the reserves further underground.

Bandanna’s Dingo West open cut project might be small in scope but is adjacent to the Blackwater rail corridor and 250km from Gladstone’s port.

The company previously viewed Dingo West as a potential open cut satellite pit operation capable of producing 0.5-1Mtpa.

The project holds 91.1Mt of inferred resources and preliminary evaluation has revealed that Dingo West could produce a “very acceptable low ash, low volatile” pulverised coal-injection coal.

Bandanna has a 4Mtpa port allocation from the first-stage capacity of the proposed Wiggins Island export coal terminal, due to start shipping in 2014.

Bandanna’s portfolio consists of 15 exploration permits for coal and seven permits for minerals exploration.

Shares in the Queensland explorer closed up 1c to $1.90 on Friday.