Aquila Resources Limited is seeking buyers for its Talwood project in Central Queensland. We thought many might find interesting the information we have on our asset database. Enable has maintained a coal asset database for nearly a decade. Over time, we have collected a lot of public and industry information which provides a high level of insight to most assets.
Talwood is approximately 45 kilometres north of the Stanmore’s Isaac Plains Coal Mine. The eastern portion of the Talwood project is adjacent to and down dip to the east of the BMA Goonyella Riverside Boadmeadow complex. To the north and east is the Peabody West Burton tenure. Further to the east and separated by the major Burton Thrust fault system lie the Peabody Burton Mine, the Vale Ellensfield open cut project and the New Hope Lenton prospect.
BMA and Peabody mine the Moranbah Coal measures. The West Burton, Ellensfield, Lenton Prospect and Burton Mine (currently on care and maintenance) all target the Rangal Coal Measures. East of the Burton thrust the operations focus on the open cut mineable resources and west of the thrust the Rangal measures are principally a focus for underground mining in the Leichardt Seam.
At Talwood targets are the Leichhardt and Vermont seams in the Rangal coal measures and the Goonyella Middle seam from the Moranbah coal measures. The Aquila Concept Study contemplates a potential underground longwall operation (a north and south mine with two separate access points), producing an average of 4.4Mtpa of ROM coking coal from one longwall unit in the Upper Leichhardt Coal Seam of the Rangal Coal Measures.
Based on the 2013 JORC Statement, the resource is 434.9Mt, 85.2Mt in the Upper Leichhardt Seam, 103.0Mt in the Vermont seam, 105.0Mt Upper Goonyella and 141.6Mt in the Middle Goonyella Seam. Resource split for all seams are 77.9Mt Measured, 107.6Mt Indicated and 249.3Mt Inferred. Drilling in the Rangal Coal measures intersected the Leichhardt seam (maximum thickness of 3.75m) and the Vermont seam (maximum thickness of 2.53m). These seams will produce a low ash coking coal and thermal coal by product.
Yields for the Leichhardt seam peak at 78% (F1.50 @ 9.9% Ash) and average 63.6 (F1.5 @ 10.9% Ash) for a combined coking and thermal product. Yields for the Vermont seam peak at 65% (F1.5 @ 10.4% Ash) and average 48.5% (F1.50 @ 11.9% Ash) for a combined coking and thermal product ex-bands (Source Resource Statements Update, Aquila Resources 2013).
The resource is well located in a well-developed coal mining province with significant infrastructure however access to rail and port needs to be secured. The product is likely to be a mixture of semi-hard coking coal, PCI and thermal coal. The balance of products is unclear however the product qualities may not be significantly better than Rangal coals mined at Isaac Plains.
The principal target is the Leichardt Seam of the Rangal Coal measures. Underground mining of these measures elsewhere has been challenging as a consequence of the impact of gas and structure on mine productivity. The average yield for the Vermont Seam is moderate and the German Creek seam is likely to be too deep and high rank. There is potential for low cost shallow access from part of the resource that has been described as open cut mineable.
The seams dips at 1 in 10 which is steep for a longwall operation. The location east of both Goonyella Riverside and North Goonyella suggest a close proximity to major structures that may disrupt the mine plan. The area is known for both geological structure, high gas content and variable gas permeability all of which need to be assessed.
East West Cross-Section of Talwood
The resource base in the Leichardt seam is a risk and needs to be expanded to support a long life operation and a greenfield investment.
The Leichardt seam is described (ILN April 2009) as ranging from 1.5-3.0 metres thick and this may create productivity issues for the longwall in areas of low seam height.
Other resource risk considerations include structure, intrusions, seam gas and seam dip.