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Oracle Coalfields receives backing from partner in Thar dispute

World Coal,

Oracle Coalfield’s appeal against the shock cancellation of a mining lease has received strong support from its major partner on the project.

Shandong Electric Power Co. (SEPCO), Oracle’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner on the block VI mining lease of the Thar coalfield in Sindh, Pakistan, is offering full backing to Oracle’s appeal against the decision.

Oracle and SEPCO signed an EPC agreement on 25 September, but with the shock notification from the provincial government in Sindh earlier this month that the mining lease over Block VI has been cancelled, the parties now expect some delay in the signing of the term sheets.

The signing of the term sheets is subject to the reinstatement of the lease; in the meantime, discussions on the fine details of the term sheets continue.

The Thar coalfield is the hub of Oracle’s plans to build a combined power plant in the region and it said it is taking all steps to have the notification withdrawn.

The decision of the Directorate General of the Coal Mines Department is subject to appeal and has been challenged by Oracle under Rule 71 of the Sindh Mining Concessions Rules, 2002. 

“The company is taking all steps to have the cancellation of the lease withdrawn and we are working with SEPCO towards the signing of EPC term sheets in the near future," said Shahrukh Khan, CEO of Oracle.

“Oracle remains fully committed to the development of our Block VI of the Thar coal project," Khan added.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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