GOOD news about the quality of Tiaro district coal deposits has improved prospects for a working mine, but there is still a long way to go, Tiaro Coal CEO Dan Buckley said yesterday.
Mr Buckley told The Gympie Times an assessment by independent consultant metallurgist Bob Leach Pty Ltd had confirmed various grades of sought-after metallurgical coal, as opposed to steaming or energy coal as found in the Galilee and Surat Basins.
"Metallurgical coal is a more sought-after and higher-priced product than energy coal," he said.
The consultant had been engaged to see where the Tiaro deposits might fit into the coking coal and steel-making industry.
An apparently high vitrinite content (more than 90%) was consistent with a sought-after quality product, but this would have to be confirmed through further sample testing.
"The consultant found we have the full gamut of metallurgical coal, from hard coking coal to semi-soft and pulverised coal injection product.
"That means we have the potential to produce these three types of metallurgical coal...used (in various blends) to make coke for steel blast furnaces.
"Impurities, such as phosphorous and sulphur are important in assessing pollution and steel-making potential and the consultant has found these are at moderate levels, which wouldn't exclude them from any particular market."
Mr Buckley said the news was encouraging "as we start looking at the logistical, economic and environmental issues" of establishing a mine and "talking to stakeholders."
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