West Pentland Coal Project

New Emerald Coal Ltd (NEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Linc Energy Ltd (Linc Energy), holds an advanced thermal coal project[2] 7 km south-west of the town of Pentland in the north-eastern Galilee Basin (Figure 12). Mineral development licence (MDL) 361 was granted to Linc Energy in January 2012, and covers about 25 km2 of EPC 526. The Flinders Highway intersects MDL 361 in the south-west corner of the deposit. Based on previous exploration drilling and development of a geological and coal resource model (Xenith, 2013), the West Pentland deposit currently has a thermal coal resource of 266 Mt, comprising 176 Mt of indicated resource and 90 Mt of inferred resource (reported in accordance with the JORC Code). A mine concept study completed by Xenith (2013) indicated that a new coal mining facility in MDL 361 could produce three to four Mt/year of unwashed thermal coal.

The coal resources at the West Pentland deposit are hosted in the Late Permian Betts Creek beds. Two separate coal-bearing units are recognised, the Pentland Upper and Pentland Lower units (Xenith, 2013). The upper coal unit contains significant shale, and has high raw ash content which makes it currently uneconomic to mine. In contrast, the Pentland Lower unit contains multiple seams of moderate ash, low rank thermal coal that make it suitable for mining of export quality product. For modelling purposes, five coal seams (designated PL1, PL2, PL4, PL6 and PL8) and three parting stone bands (PL3, PL, PL7) are defined (Xenith, 2013). Cumulative coal thickness ranges from about 5 m in the shallowest zone, up to 35 m in the central zone of the deposit.

Further drilling and evaluation of coal seams in MDL 361 has the potential to increase the identified resource in several areas (Xenith, 2013). NEC are considering development plans for the coal resource at MDL 361, and could potentially commence an EIS and begin pre-feasibility studies in the near to medium future (although there is currently no definitive date for lodging an EIS).

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Galilee subregion

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