Continental Coal Ltd. is in discussions with the Crow Nation over the possible acquisition of a large coal deposit in the Powder River Basin of Montana, said a June 5 report in The Australian newspaper that quotes Continental Executive Director Peter Landau.
He said the company was looking to see if a deal could be done with the senior members of the Crow tribe and that the talks have been going on since late last year. “We haven’t got there yet, but it’s definitely getting closer,” Landau was quoted as saying about the talks.
He said the coal reserves under discussion are believed to host about a billion tonnes of coal, which Continental would look to export to Asia if a deal were done. Landau said that while there was ample existing rail infrastructure to support an export project, securing port capacity along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada was more difficult. BNSF Railway serves the Montana end of the PRB.
Continental is considering partnering with a group from India that could help finance the construction of port capacity, Landau said. He added that the mining project would easily support 4 million to 5 million tonnes per year of coal production.
Continental Coal (ASX: CCC and AIM: COOL and US-OTCQX: CGFAY) is a South African thermal coal producer with a portfolio of producing and advanced coal projects located in South Africa’s major coal fields. It also recently announced a deal to buy into a coal mine in Colombia. There was no announcement about the Crow talks on the company’s website as of June 5.
The story didn’t say how the Continental talks might fit with the long-stalled Many Stars coal-to-liquids project. Many Stars is an energy development project led by Australian-American Energy Co. LLC in collaboration with the Crow that would tap Crow coal reserves in Montana for project feedstock.