Mantle’s broadening Valley venture

DIVERSIFIED minerals exploration company Mantle Mining Corporation has its eye set on the Latrobe Valley’s rich coal reserves, with the intent of exploring areas around Callignee and Mirboo North as potential coal-mining sites.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange in June this year, the company said its new applications were “strategically placed”, linking its existing licences, EL5337 from Thorpdale to parts of Mirboo North, and EL5336, in Jeeralang.

“Mantle Mining is pleased to announce that it has received priority status over two additional exploration licence applications immediately adjacent to its Latrobe Valley Coal Project,” the company said in its 25 June announcement.

The company was seeking to “define new black coal deposits and apply brown coal upgrade technology to develop new export opportunities”, but “was not focussed on coal seam gas, fracking or underground coal gasification”.

It said it was presently undertaking a broad evaluation of historic mining in the area, which would lead into regional coal seam correlations, to be followed by development of detailed models, with priority field targets to then be developed for initial ground proofing.

In its 2011 annual report, Mantle Mining said it had considered more opportunities in the coal sector.

“Mantle is targeting seam extensions of the many historic black and brown coal mines and seeks to define new black coal deposits and apply brown coal upgrade technology to develop new coal market opportunities,” it said in its report, with regard to its Latrobe Valley Coal Project.

The project is understood to be targeting the black and brown coal deposits, including many historical mines within the Gippsland Basin.

Mantle Mining, which has its registered offices in Western Australia but is based in Queensland, is pursuing two coal projects in Victoria, in Bacchus Marsh and the Latrobe Valley.

The company faced significant community backlash in Bacchus Marsh and in the Otway Ranges, where it abandoned its brown coal exploration due to strong community pressure last year.

Mantle Mining was not available for comment at time of going to print.