Orion Downs (EPC 1517) covers an area of approximately 1,020km2, with the northern tip located 60km south east of the town of Emerald in the Bauhinia Shire, Queensland. The tenement continues south on the eastern side of the township of Springsure, to intersect the Dawson Highway. The Bauhinia rail link, which extends from Blackwater to Rolleston, is situated approximately 7km to the east of the tenement, with a total rail distance of approximately 400km to the Port of Gladstone. The Springton-to-Emerald rail line is located 10km to the west of the northern part of the tenement, which also connects to the Port of Gladstone.
The Company commenced exploration at Orion Downs in June 2009 with immediate success. Orion Downs has two sub-projects being undertaken: the Inderi Project and the Meteor Downs South Project.
Intersections were made with the Bandanna Formation, Freitag Formation and Reids Dome Beds at various areas in the tenement.
Sample testing from coring of several of the Bandanna Formation intersections shows a low ash, low sulphur thermal coal with a calorific value in excess of 6,250Kcal/kg in places under a thin to moderate basalt cover. These coal properties correlate closely with the coal exported from the adjoining Rolleston open cut mine.
The 2010/11 reporting period was productive for the Orion Downs Tenement with 13,240 m of coal exploration holes, discovery and delineation of the Meteor Downs South resource, submission of an application for a mining lease over the Metion Downs South project area, confirmation of approval to progress the Mining lease Application (MLA) along the Environmental Management Plan pathway and commencement of a Bankable Feasibility Study for the Meteor Downs South Project.
JORC resources were upgraded at the MDS Project from 14.2 Mt Inferred (2010) to 13.32Mt Measured, 3.5Mt Indicated and 0.0MtInferred for a revised total of 16.82Mt.
JORC resources at the Inderi Project were upgraded from 15.5Mt Indicated and 11.3 Mt Inferred (2010) to 18.48Mt Measured, 8.1Mt Indicated and 8.0Mt Inferred. Total current JORC resources between both projects now stands at 51.4Mt.
The Meteor Downs South Project Evaluation is nearing completion. This has involved detailed mine design and planning, operations scheduling and capital and operating cost estimation for a 1.5-1.9Mtpa open cut mine to deliver a direct ship thermal coal product. Planning for the MDS mine project development is continuing.
Mine planning can now also begin for an underground mine at Inderi. It is anticipated the proposed mine will be able to utilise ket parts of the MDS site infrastucture. Mine planning, including consideration of the use of low operatins cost mini-wall technology, will comment later in 2012.
Updated: March 2012