Asia Energy PLC
12 January 2005
Asia Energy PLC
Tests of Coal Quality at Asia Energy's Phulbari Deposit Indicate
Presence of High Quality Export Coal Products
12th January 2005
Asia Energy PLC ('Asia Energy' or 'the Company') announces today that core
sample analysis from recent drilling at its Phulbari Coal Project ('the Project
') in north-west Bangladesh confirms expectations of a bituminous coal with High
Volatiles, Low Ash, and good calorific value. Laboratory testing work
indicates that some of Phulbari's coal production may be suitable for sale to
the metallurgical export markets either as a Semi-Soft Coking Coal or as a
Pulverised Coal Injection ('PCI') coal.
Float-sink testing conducted at the ACIRL laboratories in Brisbane, Australia,
and review by QCC Resources Pty Ltd ('QCC') indicate that a range of coal
products suitable for both the export and domestic markets may be extracted from
the coal by upgrading from a simple crushing and sizing installation to a
state-of-the-art Coal Processing Plant, utilising proven dense medium separation
technology. This will allow the extraction of economic quantities of Semi-Soft
Coking Coal (CSN 3 to 4) and/or PCI grade coal (ash 8% air dried), both of which
are used in steel making processes, as well as export quality thermal coal (6800
kcal/kg air dried basis).
Detailed properties of all potential products are being determined to evaluate
the optimum target markets and project economics. On this basis, additional core
sampling of larger diameter drill holes (200 mm) will be necessary to determine
the process equipment requirements, potential product mix and comprehensive coal
quality specifications for the planned coal production.
Extraction of premium coal products from Phulbari has implications for the Coal
Handling and Process Plant designs being built into the on-going Definitive
Feasibility Study ('DFS'). The engineering studies of Run-of-Mine coal handling,
process plant requirements, and product handling at the Project's planned mine
and port are being expanded accordingly. The coal processing and engineering
work is being undertaken in concert by GHD Pty Ltd and QCC, Asia Energy's
consultants in these fields.
Similarly, changes are required to the DFS marketing study to take account of
the potential to mine these higher value products. AME Mineral Economics, based
in Sydney, Australia, were recently appointed to provide an analysis of existing
and future markets for coal products from the Project.
'The presence of these premium coal products within the Phulbari coal measures
should significantly broaden the potential markets for the Company's future coal
production and enhance the project economics', commented Asia Energy's Joint
Managing Director Mr David Lenigas.
ABOUT ASIA ENERGY PLC
Asia Energy PLC is a London-based AIM quoted company whose primary activity is
the development of an open cast coal mine at Phulbari in north-west Bangladesh
which has been projected to produce 15 million tonnes of high quality coal per
year. The Company is currently carrying out an intensive drilling programme on
the basin as part of the DFS that is due for completion in 2005 with the
objective to start mining at Phulbari in 2007. The DFS will further define the
deposit, which has potential reserves in excess of 400 million tonnes of High
Volatile, Low Sulphur bituminous coal.
Asia Energy has agreements in place with the government of Bangladesh for the
development and exploitation of the mine which is located 30 metres above sea
level, a distance from the country's flood-prone deltas. The company is
committed to developing the mine in an environmentally and socially responsible
manner in accordance with the highest international standards, and to this aim
is conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment.
The Phulbari mine will export coal to neighbouring India and to Asia's major
seaborne markets, and in addition to tax and royalty revenues will also provide
a vital new long-term source of sustainable energy to Bangladesh. As part of the
development project, Asia Energy will also conduct a separate feasibility study
for a mine-mouth power station.
Michael Frayne, Joint Managing Director Justine Howarth, Cathy Malins
email@example.com Parkgreen Communications
David Lenigas, Joint Managing Director Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 3713
Asia Energy PLC firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 0890, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7409 2750
Laith Reynolds, Executive Director (CEO- Bangladesh)
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange