Delays following the Pike River Coal disaster have not changed Bathurst Resources’ plans to mine at the Buller Coalfield on the West Coast of New Zealand’s south island.
The total acquisition of the Buller coal project from L&M Energy by the Perth-based Bathurst Resources was completed during the December quarter and cost the company $US40 million ($40.18 million).
Two further performance costs of $US40 million will be incurred when the project moves into production.
Bathurst Resources said in its December report its focus for the period had been on completing a definitive feasibility study for the Escarpment and Deep Creek blocks at the Buller project.
The estimated capital cost from the study was about $US50 million.
Bathurst Resources’ aim is to produce premium hard coking coal from the project in the 2011 December quarter.
By late 2013, production is hoped to reach two million tonnes per annum.
The key focus for the company in the March quarter will be regulatory approvals and consents for the development of the Buller project, and the establishment of key contracts for the construction of a coal preparation plant and related facilities.
Progress on the applications of resource consents as well as access and concession permits, which are needed before commencement, has been stalled following the Pike River disaster, according to Bathurst Resources.
“In early 2011 however, Bathurst resumed discussions with the local communities and regulatory bodies to progress these applications for the Buller project,” the company said.
Bathurst Resources shares were up 3.2 per cent on the Australian stock exchange, from 94 cents to 97.