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Cockatoo Coal secures Japanese funding for exploration of Dingo West

Dingo West CoalA $3.5 million exploration partnership between Queensland’s Cockatoo Coal and a Japanese government owned corporation was announced today. Cockatoo Coal has entered into a joint venture with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) for exploration at its Dingo West project in the southeast Bowen Basin.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said the announcement was good news for the Queensland coal industry and Australia’s solid and lengthy relationship with Japan.

“I welcome Cockatoo Coal’s announcement of the partnership with JOGMEC, which is good news for the coal industry and good news for Central Queenslanders,” Mr Roche said.

“It is no secret that due to falling coal prices, a high Australian dollar and an oversupplied market that mining companies have been doing it hard. However this announcement shows that there is a solid long-term future for coal.”

The Dingo West Project is a 76km2 area in the south-eastern limb of the Bowen Basin, approximately 50 km north of Cockatoo’s Baralaba mining complex and adjacent to Cockatoo’s 30% owned Dingo joint venture project with Whitehaven Coal.

Cockatoo acquired the Dingo West project through the takeover of Blackwood Corporation in late 2013. Preliminary scout drilling completed in 2013 by Blackwood Corporation intercepted coal seams of PCI quality within the tenure. Apart from this scout exploration, the Dingo West project has had no additional field exploration undertaken.

Under the terms of the  Joint Exploration Agreement (JEA), JOGMEC will provide up to $3.5 million to Cockatoo over a three year period for exploration expenditure.  JOGMEC will earn up to a 35% economic interest in the Dingo West project, whilst also possessing the right to assign that interest to a Japanese nominee company in future, in order to progress the project to development. Commencement of the JEA is subject to Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (‘FIRB’) approval.

Managing Director of Cockatoo, Mr Andrew Lawson, welcomed the partnership with JOGMEC on the Dingo West project.

“I am pleased to welcome JOGMEC as our exploration partner in the Dingo West project. I believe we have found a strong partner to assist our efforts in defining new PCI coal Resources close to our existing Baralaba
operations, and the future role JOGMEC might take in promoting the further development of the project with a commercial partner. Furthermore, I am pleased that the project has attracted such significant interest,
validating its value to Cockatoo following the acquisition of Dingo West as part of our recent takeover of Blackwood Corporation”, Mr Lawson said.

“Cockatoo has vast experience in exploring and mining the Baralaba coal measures, and we believe that PCI coal will become increasingly sought after in the next decade, particularly in East Asia. Accordingly, we see
JOGMEC’s investment in the greenfield exploration of Dingo West coal as a vote of confidence in the future of PCI coal, as well as Cockatoo as a manager,” he said.

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