ACACIA Coal continues to progress the environmental and mining studies required for the mining lease application and environmental assessment for the Comet Ridge Coal Project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Acacia aims to develop a low capital, shallow open cut mining operation, producing a highly marketable semi hard coking coal.

Acacia Coal’s tenements in Queensland’s coal-rich Bowen Basin.
Acacia Coal’s tenements in Queensland’s coal-rich Bowen Basin.

The company has made progress with commissioning of seasonal terrestrial and aquatic ecological surveys, and is undertaking routine monitoring of ground water levels in recently installed piezometers. Surface water sampling has not been possible due to drought conditions.

Acacia has completed waste rock geochemical testing which has confirmed the project has no metal issues and predominantly non-acid forming (NAF) overburden. It has completed geotechnical laboratory testing which confirmed that a significant amount of overburden material is weak rock amenable to free digging.

The company gathered data and samples during a drilling program last September and October. The program focused on four main investigation areas:

  • Environmental – groundwater, geochemistry and waste rock characterization;
  • Geological – data for a new JORC resource report and sub-crop definition;
  • Coal quality – dry-processing optimization and coke strength (CSR) testing; and
  • Geotechnical – rock strength and pit design.

Acacia continues to make progress on a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the project and is closely monitoring announcements by Bandanna Energy in regard to its April 2014 target of securing initial project development funding for its Springsure Creek Coal Mine Project.

The Springsure Creek development includes the critical infrastructure of the rail loop and train loading facilities to which Acacia has access under the Triumph Creek Infrastructure Agreement. Therefore, the BFS cannot be finalized until the Springsure Creek project funding and timing has been confirmed.

A pre-feasibility study completed last year confirmed the project is feasible and established an annual production target ranging from 350,000 to 450,000 tonnes for at least eight years.

As part of its continued prudent cash management, Acacia has elected to rationalize its less prospective exploration tenements in the Bowen Basin. As a result the Jack Creek tenement to the south of Comet Ridge is being relinquished and the Sandhurst Creek tenement west of Comet Ridge remains under review.

Acacia has decided to divest the Spring Creek exploration tenement northwest of Jack Creek on the basis that it has a high exploration cost requirement with very low development potential given information from regional drilling, the rugged topography and its remoteness to key infrastructure. Confirmation has been received from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines that the Comet Ridge exploration licence has been renewed for a further five years to 2018.

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