Indonesian ministry approval has been granted to metallurgical coal group Cokal for an exploration forestry permit which will allow it to conduct high impact exploration drilling on its Bumi Barito Mineral (BBM) coal project.
The company is anticipating the completion and release of both the pre-feasibility and environmental impact studies which will outline a number of options for developing an open-cut coal mine, associated infrastructure and coal transportation.
Cokal’s executive chairman Peter Lynch says, “The approval means we can now use large drills in order to convert the previously announced 200-350 million tonne exploration target to JORC-compliant coal resources. Cokal will develop a road system within BBM for better access of people, supplies and medical care. As well, we will commence surveys of mine site infrastructure including the barge loading port, mine offices, accommodation and maintenance workshop.”
The 19,920 hectare BBM project in central Kalimantan is immediately adjacent to BHP Billiton’s Juloi tenement which straddles the Barito River. Exploration to date has estimated the resource at 77 million tonnes of indicated and inferred coal, 80% of which is premium coking coal and 20% high quality low volatile PCI.
Cokal’s executive director Pat Hanna says, “We have always believed this is the right place to operate. There are not many places in the world you can develop a coal mine from greenfields exploration through to mine production in three to four years. Our workforce on site BBM is entirely Indonesian skilled people who are conducting activities to international standards and in accordance with the JORC code.”
The company implemented a community development program when it began exploring the site and is looked upon favourably by locals, many of whom are now part of the team. Cokal continues to make progress on its other 13,050 hectare permit area Borneo Bara Prima (BBP), which is adjacent to BHP Billiton’s Maruwai tenement.