Altona Resources Plc
("Altona" or "the Company")
LOW CTL UNIT PRODUCTION COSTS PROJECTED
Altona Resources plc (AIM: ANR) announces that analysis from initial financial modelling of the Arckaringa Project - an integrated mine, Coal to Liquids ("CTL") and cogeneration power plant - shows current projected CTL net unit production costs in the lowest quartile of CTL industry benchmarks.
The Company will present this analysis and other progress results from its Feasibility Study of the Arckaringa Project to the AJM Coal to Liquids/Gas to Liquids Conference in Brisbane, Australia, on the 22nd February. A copy of this presentation is available at the Company's internet site, www.altonaresources.com.
The Company and its Project Financial Adviser, Royal Bank of Scotland, have developed a preliminary financial model which has established a Base Case production volume of 10 million barrels per annum ("MBPA") of liquid products (mainly ultra low sulphur diesel fuel). At these volumes, and on the basis of liquids production alone, the Project is projected to have unit production (operating) costs of US$35 per barrel, which is competitive with CTL industry average operating cost benchmarks.
An important aspect of the Project is the production of gas that will be available for power generation. Under the Project Base Case, 560 MW of power will be generated by the Project for sale into the increasingly supply deficient South Australian power market. Applying the sale of this power at current base load prices against costs, the net unit operating costs are effectively reduced to a projected US$20 per barrel of liquid products. This would place the Project at the very low end of CTL industry operating cost benchmarks.
The financial model is based on the inputs from the following key reports:
. The Jacobs Consultancy Feasibility Report on an Expandable CTL plant, with a Base Case capacity of 30,000 barrels per day ("BPD") or 10 MBPA of commercial petroleum products, including 80% ultra low sulphur diesel and 20% naptha, and expandable to 45,000 BPD. The plant design incorporates ConocoPhilips Gasification and Rentech's Fischer-Tropsch technology.
. The parallel report by the Company's mine planning consultants, MineConsult, which updated Base Case capital and operating cost estimates for an open cut mine producing 10 Million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) from Altona's multi-billion tonne Wintinna deposit to supply the CTL Plant.
Altona's Chairman, Mr. Chris Lambert, commented: "The positive outcomes from the financial modelling encourage the Company to take the next steps in the Project Feasibility Study. These steps will include supplementary field drilling, quality testing of the coal for plant design, and further studies to optimize capital and operating costs for both the CTL/Power Plant and Mine".
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is anticipated in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement or, in the case of any document incorporated by reference, the date of that document.
For further information please contact:
Altona Resources plc
Christopher Lambert, Chairman +44 (0) 798 001 7108
Christopher Schrape, Managing Director +61 (0) 417 984 434
Nabarro Wells & Co Limited
Hugh Oram, Director +44 (0) 207 710 7400
Victoria Thomas +44 (0) 207 851 7480
Notes to Editors:
The Arckaringa Project
The Arckaringa Project ("Arckaringa") comprises:
. the 100% interest in three exploration licences in South Australia, which have previously been calculated as a JORC compliant resource of over 7.5 billion tonnes of sub bituminous Permian coal, amenable to open pit mining, and suitable as fuel for power generation and potential application of coal to oil technology. The three exploration licences, EL3360, EL3361, and EL3362 ("the Licences"), cover a combined area of approximately 2,500 square kilometres in the northern portion of the Permian Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. The Licences include three coal deposits, known as the Westfield Deposit (EL3360), the Wintinna Deposit (EL3361), and the Murloocoppie Deposit (EL3362).
. a proposed Coal to Liquids and cogeneration power plant, with Base Case capacities of 30,000 BPD or 10 MBPA of petroleum products (zero sulphur diesel fuel and naptha) and 562 MW of power, supported by a 10 Mtpa open cut mine based on the Wintinna deposit. The CTL/Power plant and mine would together represent an investment of approx US$3 Billion
The coal deposits are located in close proximity to the Adelaide to Darwin railroad, facilitating improved economic potential for despatch of CTL products and coal to local and export markets. The railroad will also facilitate mine development and operations.
Jacobs Consultancy is part of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. ("Jacobs Group"), one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of professional technical services. With annual revenues exceeding $6 billion, Jacobs Group offers full-spectrum support to industrial, commercial, and government clients across multiple markets. Services include scientific and specialty consulting as well as all aspects of engineering and construction, and operations & maintenance.
Jacobs Group global network includes more than 60 major offices in over 15 countries. They have operations in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, India, Australia, and Asia. Their headquarters are in Pasadena, California.
Further information is available at Jacobs Group's website at www.jacobs.com.
MineConsult is an independent consulting group specialising in Technical, Operational and Management Services to the mining industry. The company is wholly Australian owned and has been operating for over 11 years.
The group's professional staff primarily comprises mining engineers with Australian and offshore experience in coal and metalliferous mining and undertake work for the private and public sectors.
Further information is available at the MineConsult website at www.mineconsult.com.au.
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