Clermont Mine with the Karin Basin Project in the background.
Clermont Mine with the Karin Basin Project in the background. Contributed

Fresh prospects: Explorer to hunt coal near Clermont

EXCLUSIVE: A QUEENSLAND company has been given the opportunity to potentially expand its existing Karin Basin project near Clermont.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham will today announce Vitrinite will be able to apply for an exploration permit over 35 square kilometres of land after being awarded the preferred tenderer, continuing the state's resources boom.

"The area is adjacent to Vitrinite's existing Karin Basin project on the western flank of the Bowen Basin, which gives them the added potential to join the next pipeline of metallurgical coal projects in Queensland," Dr Lynham said.

"Industry is showing a high level of confidence in Queensland's coal sector with $128 million invested in exploration in 2018 - a 42 per cent increase over the previous year.

"As well, there is record demand for our high quality metallurgical coal with an increase of more than 12 per cent over the past financial year."

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Vitrinite describes itself as a "young" and "progressive" company.


Vitrinite coal tender map
Vitrinite coal tender map. James Eddy

In 2018, Japanese trading giant Itochu signed a three-year funding deal with Vitrinite to develop a new coking coal mine in the Bowen Basin following the discovery of a deposit of 123 million tonnes of coking coal, promising some of the highest quality coking coal ever found in Australia.

Vitrinite executive director Nicholas Williams said the partners in the Karin Joint Venture were pleased the Queensland Government had granted the company additional exploration blocks adjoining with their Karin coking coal deposit.

"We have already discovered some of the most exciting coal qualities in Australian history and expect to continue this trend within this land package," he said.

Vitrinite will be required to meet environmental, native title, and other approvals, as well as land access requirements before on-ground exploration can start.