A technical pre-feasibility study (PFS) into GCM Resources’ mine-mouth coal-fired power plant proposal for Bangladesh has found that the project is technically feasible. The London-based company intends to establish the plant at Phulbari Coal Project in conjunction with China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd (CGGC).

In a statement, AIM-listed GCM said the PFS indicated that the plant, which would generate up to 2000MW, was technically feasible. GCM and CGGC are in discussions to further progress the proposal.

The Phulbari project in the country’s northwest is poised for development once the Government of Bangladesh provides approval. It is the only such deposit in Bangladesh that has been subjected to a full feasibility study including an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment prepared to international standards.

The project is in the Dinajpur District, approximately 350km from the capital, Dhaka, and 10km from the Indian border. The mine footprint covers 5193 hectares and is 11km-long and 3km-wide.

GCM has identified a world-class, JORC 2004 compliant coal resource of 572 million tonnes. It says the project will support a long-life, low-cost mining operation.

BHP Minerals International Exploration entered into a contract with the Government of Bangladesh in August 1994, giving it the right to explore and mine coal in northern Bangladesh.

In February 1998 the contract was assigned to GCM’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pty Limited, with the endorsement of the government.

GCM has fulfilled all its obligations under this legally binding contract and holds a mining lease and exploration licences covering the prospective mine site. Under the terms and conditions of the contract, a mining lease has a 30-year term (from 2004) and may be renewed for further periods of 10 years each at GCM’s option. The company is awaiting approval from the government to develop the project.


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