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Altona Energy shares surge as it announces key BFS approvals for Arckaringa project

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Shares in Altona Energy (LON:ANR) surged more than 14 per cent in early deals as it revealed key approvals for its ongoing BFS work at the Arckaringa project in Australia.

As at 8.40 am, the company's shares were up 14.29 per cent, to change hands at 6 pence.

Arckaringa is a major coal-to-liquids (CTL) fuel and power project in south Australia.

The firm's JV partner in the project is Chinese energy major CNOOC New Energy Investment, which holds a 51 per cent stake.

At the JV management committee meeting on November 29, the firm said the partners had endorsed the results of the project BFS work programme for 2011 and approved the key elements of the continuing Stage 1 work programme for completion during 2012.

A key approval has been granted by the South Australian government for the work programme at the project - namely the programme for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR).

The water permitting and work area clearance is already under way in the expectation that field work can begin in H1 2012. The programme and the resultant reports are anticipated to take around six months, the company said.

The key elements of the continuing Stage 1 work programme agreed by the JV meeting for completion during 2012 include a drilling programme, the coal sampling and test work and preparatory studies to underpin the detailed design work in Stage 2 of the BFS.

Chairman of Altona Chris Lambert said today: "Following a year of further delineation work of the coal feedstock sources and suitability for key processed fuels production, our year end JV partner meeting with CNOOC-NEI concluded a detailed work plan for BFS programmes for completion in 2012.

"Support for new fuels and power sources from the South Australian government remains extremely strong and CNOOC-NEI has completed all delineation work required for them to push ahead with the next stage of the BFS."

The Arckaringa Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) project, which contains an estimated 7.8 billion tonne coal resource (non - JORC) in the Arckaringa Basin of South Australia (JORC-compliant: 1.287 billion tonnes). 

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