RNS Number : 7553A
Altona Energy PLC
07 February 2011
Altona Energy Plc / Index: AIM / Epic: ANR / Sector: Exploration & Production
7 February 2011
Altona Energy Plc ('Altona' or 'the Company')
Arckaringa Project BFS Work Programme Update
Altona Energy Plc, the AIM listed Australian based energy company, is pleased to provide a positive update on progress at the Arckaringa Coal-to-Liquids ('CTL') Project in South Australia. This update specifically concerns the Bankable Feasibility Study ('BFS') and the implementation of a work programme aimed at evaluating the conversion opportunities for the estimated 7.8 billion tonne Arckaringa coal resource, of which 1.287 billion tonnes are currently JORC complaint.
-- Appointment of General Prospecting Institute of the China National Administration for Coal Geology ('CNACG') to advance technical studies as part of BFS work programme for the Arckaringa Project - studies well underway and on schedule
-- Recent site visit attended by all parties including Altona, CNOOC-NEIA and CNACG
-- Checking and confirmation of data parameters completed for the existing geological database and the physical conditions governing the location of the Wintinna Coal Mine and supporting infrastructure
-- Preparing documentation to gain an Exploration Work Approval and to select local drilling and hydro-geological companies for field programmes
-- Aiming to design field drilling programmes to provide the detailed information needed for mine design and the groundwater management programme by April 2011
Altona's Managing Director, Chris Schrape, said, "It was exciting to join with our JV partner and technical consultants on the ground in South Australia as we collaborate in taking significant steps in advancing our BFS work programme. The work now in progress will build a solid platform for the detailed evaluation of the mining aspects at Arckaringa and is consistent with the structured approach required for a BFS on a large scale clean coal conversion project with a base case capacity of 15 mtpa."
CNACG has been appointed to advance technical studies as part of the BFS work programme for the Arckaringa Project. CNACG commenced work in the fourth quarter of 2010 under a contract approved by Altona and its Joint Venture partner CNOOC-NEIA, the Australian subsidiary of CNOOC, one of China's major oil companies. Consequently, the first three of the [previously announced] studies listed below are well underway:
-- 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.
A technical team from CNACG visited South Australia from 19-27 January 2011. During this time they held a series of technical data review sessions with the JV Operating Team and met local hydrogeological and other consultants, including those employed during the Altona Pre Feasibility Study ('PFS') work. The team also visited the site and confirmed the parameters for the existing geological database and the physical conditions governing the location of the Wintinna mine and supporting infrastructure, including the transport corridor options to link into the nearby national rail and road network.
To date, CNACG has reviewed and consolidated all original technical data concerning the Wintinna deposit, including Altona's PFS work and historical data. CNACG is now focussed on a Geological Report on licence EL4512 to assist the development of the long term plan for the Wintinna Coal Mine, which it aims to complete during March 2011. It also aims to complete comprehensive geological and hydro-geological research reports to underpin the design of the field drilling programmes that will provide the detailed information needed for mine design and the groundwater management programme by April 2011.
In anticipation of the completion of the CNACG reports, the JV partners are preparing documentation to gain the required Exploration Work Approval ('EWA') from the South Australian Government and to select the local drilling and hydro-geological companies for the field programmes, which are scheduled to commence in mid 2011. Further details on the field programmes, including their scope and duration, will be announced when the