With the wet season over, the JV is aiming to prove up resources for 43 years of underground and open cut mining operations, totalling 15-20 million tonnes per annum.
South Galilee is next door to the Clive Palmer-led China First project and south of the Gina Rinehart-led Kevin’s Corner and Alpha projects in the unexploited thermal coal basin.
“Bandanna is the only ASX-listed company to have an interest in a project in this newly emerging, world-class thermal coal province and to have completed a concept study and moved through to prefeasibility study status,” Bandanna managing director Dr Ray Shaw said.
“The drilling program should deliver a substantial increase in the confidence level of the South Galilee resource, which currently stands at 922 million tonnes of JORC-compliant inferred and 60 million tonnes of JORC-compliant indicated.”
Bandanna has set a 570-960Mt exploration target for the new drilling campaign while the prefeasibility study is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2011.
Work on an environmental impact statement has begun along with a separate study on infrastructure requirements.
MB Mining is carrying out studies for open cut and underground mining options in the project area.
Rinehart’s Hancock Coal and Palmer’s Resourcehouse are each submitting an EIS to fast-track to production by late 2013, Shaw said.
“With our own activity as well as an expected IPO from Resourcehouse [Hong Kong] and Hancock’s commencing a significant bulk handling program, 2010 will prove to be a significant year for Galilee Basin stakeholders,” he said.
Bandanna shares closed up 2c to 88c on Friday.