The environmental impact study (EIS) for Cokal Limited’s Bumi Barito Mineral Coal Project (BBM) in Central Kalimantan has been approved by the provincial government’s Environmental Agency, paving the way for construction of the mine to begin in October.
The study complies with Indonesian environmental and mining regulations and covers the integrated development of the BBM mine, haul road and river barging terminal.
Cokal outlined the development of the project in two stages with an initial 2 million tonnes/annum direct ship operation later expanding to up to 6 million tonnes. The company says the study highlights the potential for the project to be developed as a low capital cost, low operating cost metallurgical coal operation.
EIS approval means finalization of the upgrade of the exploration permit to a production/operation IUP or mining lease by Murung Raya Regency Mines Department.
Cokal’s executive chairman Peter Lynch says, “The approval of the EIS is a major milestone for BBM and is the culmination of a significant effort over the last 18 months by the Cokal team to work with the Regency and Provincial governments to deliver the final document.
“It was very pleasing to see the enthusiasm and contributions made during the EIS assessment process by the BPLH Environmental Commission which comprised representatives of Regency and Provincial governments, non-government organizations, and various village and cultural leaders. Their input and our ability to consider the needs of our stakeholders when preparing the EIS was a key factor in the unanimous acceptance of the EIS by the Commission and its approval,” he says.
Cokal says not only does the study comply with Indonesian regulations but also sets the benchmark for environmental compliance with international standards for an Indonesian coal project. The provincial government says it will be looking to use this as the standard for future applications by coal mining companies in the Province of Central Kalimantan.
The 19,920 hectare BBM project is adjacent to BHP Billiton’s Indomet Coal Joloi Project in the same Regency. BBM has a JORC resource of 77 million tonnes in four seams comprised of 70 million tonnes inferred and 7 million tonnes indicated, as well as an exploration target of 200 to 350 million tonnes in 13 seams within the Eastern Block of the BBM permit area. Cokal hopes to achieve first production in the first half of 2014.