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5/11/2010 — Coal, Lignite and CSG/CBM
Annual report details cost estimates for Bathurst
By Ross Louthean

The capital expenditure required to get the Buller coal project operating on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island has been estimated at $US57 million ($NZ72.7 M), plus a contingency of $US 1 M ($NZ783,000).

Mining, processing and transport costs were expected to be about $US103/tonne FOB.

These were some of the figures outlined in the annual report of Bathurst Resources Ltd (ASX: BTU) which is acquiring the Buller coal project near Solid Energy’s Stockton mine.

Bathurst has undertaken major capital raisings, mainly in the latter part of 2009-10 and since, and is to complete purchase of the project from private company L&M Coal Holdings of which Geoff Loudon is a principal.

The report said the figures for the Buller project were consistent with previous guidance provided to the market on likely capital expenditure and operating costs.”

“The economics of the project are likely to be significantly improved as other mines are developed, as the Escarpment (one of the deposits at Buller) represents approximately 15% of the total JORC resource of 47.1 million tonnes,” the report said.

On the issue of the environment, the report said as Buller was developed and moved towards full operations within 18-24 months, the company was establishing fundamental plans, policies and guidelines to ensure “the protection of all stakeholders and the environment in which we operate.”

One of the next developments expected by the market will be the time line for a planned listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile the shareholders meeting held yesterday firmly supported a series of resolutions including ratification of the purchase of the Buller coal project – with more than 58 million votes for and none against.

Also strongly supported were resolutions relating to capital raisings and the allocation of shortfalls.

Companies mentioned in article
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A view of Westport from high country on Bathurst’s acquired Buller leases.