After four years Perth based explorer Liberty has been granted a coal exploration licence in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
The tenement is surrounded by existing BHP Billiton, Peabody and Vale coal mines and projects.
Liberty said it will launch a maiden drilling program to prove up the resource base, located 170 kilometres south west of Mackay.
Liberty managing director, Andrew Haythorpe said today early planning for a drill program on the now granted EPC 1949 permit recognises the shallowness of the coal seams in the area and the near-term potential to develop a commercially attractive coal resource.
“We lodged an application for this tenement with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines in 2009 – four years ago – and not only has it taken that long to secure access,” Haythorpe said.
The tenement is owned outright by the explorer and is located less than two kilometers from existing export rail infrastructure.
“The tenement is a high quality asset surrounded by existing coal mining and export infrastructure,” he said.
Haythorpe said Liberty’s first drilling program would explore the potential for coking coal deposits within the tenement.
“As the local regional coal seams are shallow, it is anticipated that a drilling schedule of around 20 holes or so at no more than 100 metres or so depth, will be sufficient to generate a JORC standard estimate if drilling is successful,” he said.
Liberty is also in the initial stages of developing a proposed $AUD1.4 billion Queensland gas treatment plant.
Location of EPC 1949, nearby permits, mining leases and coal resources: