Eastern to post loss

DESPITE a solid six months at its New Zealand coal operations, Eastern Corporation expects to post a $A4.2-4.5 million loss for the second half of the 2009 calendar year as it focuses on exploring its coal seam gas permits in Queensland.
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The Takitimu mine in NZ, courtesy of Eastern Corporation.

Angie Tomlinson

Eastern expects profits of $1.2-1.3 million from its New Zealand operations, with strong performances from the Takitimu and Cascade mines.

Takitimu had its first year supplying to a dairy company and has extended the supply agreement by 10 years.

The nearby Ohai permit has been explored, which could allow an extension of the existing resource base.

The Cascade mine continued to supply 90% of its production to a local cement manufacturer.

Talks have begun on progressing the development of the Whareatea West coking coal prospect with a potential joint venture partner.

In addition, Eastern is expecting the sale of its Broughton tenement in the first quarter of this year.

In September last year, the company signed a put-and-call option agreement with private mining company Resource Portfolio Partners to divest its 90% interest in the Broughton Coal Joint Venture for $8.5-12 million.

The Broughton tenement is located in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, adjacent to Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek mine, and holds a 30 million tonne coal resource contained in two seams.

Eastern closed down 8.57% yesterday at 32c.

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