The joint venture between Altona Energy and China’s CNOOC-NEIA has approved the annual budget and work program of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) covering the Arckaringa Coal Project in South Australia.1
Joint venture committee meetings held in Beijing between Altona’s subsidiary Arckaringa Energy and CNOOC-NEIA, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, agreed on the budget and BFS program, which will see the start of technical studies during this quarter.
The joint venture has agreed that CNOOC-NEIA will manage and operate the BFS work program initially utilizing its in-house technical resources, augmented by leading specialised consultants and actively assisted by the Altona team.
The first stage of the BFS is anticipated to last 12 months and has a budget of Aus$12 million, after which the second stage, which has an Aus$28 million budget, will start.  
The approved work program will include detailed review of coal deposit geology and consideration of supplemental drilling; groundwater investigation and verification; groundwater management research and design; environmental baseline studies; open cut coal mining methodology options; and product market research.
This work will form the basis for the detailed design phase of the BFS covering mine design for an open cut mine and coal processing options, including CTL and power, for the planned mining capacity of 15 mtpa and a complete environmental management program and approvals process.
The project has an estimated non-JORC 7.8 billion tonne coal resource in the Arckaringa Basin of South Australia. The current base case is a 10mb per year CTL plant and 560MW co-generation power facility.
Altona chairman Chris Lambert says, “We are now moving from a conceptual and planning phase into the exciting detailed evaluation and execution phase.  The work going forward is part of the structured approach required for a BFS on a large scale clean coal conversion project.”