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Positive outlook on anthracite for Atrum Coal NL

Published by
World Coal,

Throughout 2015, Atrum Coal NL has carried out various in-house and external studies across the Groundhog anthracite project, located in British Columbia, Canada. Following identifying several potential new mines at Groundhog, the company has reported positive progress. It will complete scoping studies for the potential new mines, which will be supplementary to the planned PFS underground mine at Groundhog North.

Atrum expects a strong response from the market for the Groundhog premium, low-ash, low-volatile anthracite. The company has reported it has received strong responses in Brazil and North America from potential consumers of high-grade anthracite. It’s expected margins at Groundhog are strong in the current market. While hard coking coal prices stay low, high-grade anthracite is selling for between $150/t – $175/t in Japan and Europe, and demand for anthracite continues to be strong.

VP Business Development and Marketing, Peter Doyle, commented: “Up until recently our pre-production marketing has focused on the premium markets in Japan and Korea and interest from steel mills and traders is strong. As anthracite markets continue to be undersupplied, we have also investigated the readily accessible markets in Brazil, USA and Europe and received strong interest from existing anthracite users there. Anthracite prices are high, and recent discussions in Brazil and North America have yielded further encouraging results, with steel producers eager to see new participants to supply anthracite to their mills and iron pellet plants.”

Exploration and Development

To continue the various permits and approvals at Groundhog, Atrum needs ongoing environmental studies and monitoring. These will support the preparation of an Environmental Assessment in 2016.

The production plan to extract anthracite from mines in the Groundhog North mining complex is based on initial saleable product limited to 250 000 tpa, under a small-scale mining permit. The company reported it would, following successful completion of the Environmental Assessment process (anticipated completion of this in 2017), enhance production to approximately 1 million tpa. Then it plans to increase production of over 3.5 million tpa thereafter.

The company’s bulk sample permit is projected to be awarded in 2H15. A series of meetings with regulatory authorities in relation to the permit are at present in progress in Canada. Once it receives a receipt of the permit, the company intends to increase site activities. The permit will also enable Atrum to meet its delivery timetable for trialsamples to Japanese, Korean, North and South American steel makers. It remains the company’s intention to have first shipments assembled for sale to customers in 2016.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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