- Volatiles - A volatile matter content of 39% is within the typical range for high-volatile coking coals
- Sulphur - On a full seam basis, the bulk sample returned 2.54% total sulphur, which is less than the 3.0% previously reported under NI 43-101, but above the typical range for stand-alone thermal and coking coals. The elevated value establishes the use of Donkin coal in coal blends or in coal fired generation plants with desulphurization technology
-- A central section of the coal seam measuring 2.35 metres (7.7 feet), that excludes the higher sulphur roof and floor, returned a reduced sulphur level of 2.09%
- CSN - With a crucible swelling number of 8, Donkin exhibits strong swelling properties consistent with benchmark premium hard coking coals
- Fluidity - High fluidity of greater than 20,000 dial divisions per minute (ddpm) facilitates Donkin's use as a coke blend component with lower fluidity coals
- RoMax - Donkin's reflectance value of 0.87% places it within the range for typical high-volatile semi hard coking coals
Environmental Assessment (CEAA) Process
The Project is nearing the end of a comprehensive study type environmental assessment by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). It is anticipated that a Comprehensive Study Report for the Project will be finalized and released for a 30-day public review period sometime early in Q2 2013, followed by announcements by the provincial and federal Ministers of the Environment of their respective environmental assessment decisions sometime in Q3 2013.
The Project has already received provincial environmental assessment approval in December 2008 for an underground delineation program using a continuous miner system to produce 2,000 tonnes per day of run of mine ("ROM") coal for a two-year Feasibility period. The purpose of this program is to provide sufficient geological information, including subsea geology, coal quality and methane gas regime, to better assess the deposit and develop long-term mine plans.
According to Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia continues to use imported coal for electrical power generation, having imported 17.6 million tonnes ("Mt") of thermal coal since 2005, which represents imports of more than 2 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa"). The Province of Nova Scotia has projected that at least 40% of the province's electricity will be generated using coal until 2020. In addition, thermal coal consumption in New Brunswick and the northeastern states provide additional markets for Donkin coal.
The Atlantic market, beyond the northeastern provinces and states is well suited for Donkin coal with its high heat content being used to offset declining heat content for thermal coals from Colombia and its transportation advantage providing a competitive edge in cost comparison with high-volatile Appalachian coal products into the European steel industry.
According to the World Economic Forum's Energy Vision 2013, since 2003 demand for coal grew at ten times the rate of renewables, twice more than oil and three times more than gas. According to the International Energy Agency's December 2012 Medium-Term Coal Market Report, coal will rival oil as the world's top primary energy source by 2017.
The Atlantic Basin market is principally made up of importing countries in Western Europe, notably the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. In 2012, the US exported 12% more coal than the previous high set in 1981, with close to 50% going to Europe.
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