031110 A new study has found that SA coal reserves have been significantly downsized since 2003.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

Johannesburg - The bank feasibility study (BFS) for Firestone Energy (FSE) and Sekoko Resources’ Waterberg Coal Project - the Waterberg Joint Venture (WJV) - continued during the December quarter‚ with the aim of completing it by March 31 2013.

This extension will allow time to complete additional drilling‚ Firestone said in its quarterly update on Thursday.

The WJV plans the development of an opencast mining operation‚ providing 10 million tonnes of coal per annum to Eskom for an initial term of 30 years.

The formal BFS is being undertaken by SRK consultants.

During the period‚ various specialist study groups were appointed to incorporate environmental work‚ rail studies‚ infrastructure and hydrology studies into the BFS.

Furthermore a drilling contractor was appointed‚ and the WJV partners have commenced a programme to delineate the faults on Smitspan‚ and to upgrade the resource status on Smitspan and Massenberg.

The technical team has held regular update meetings with Eskom and is also working closely with Transnet Freight Rail towards an integrated rail plan for the Waterberg. The study team is also engaging with the Department of Water Affairs for the supply of water to the project.

Firestone received a takeover offer from Range River Gold in December and on January 30 received a formal Bidders Statement from Range River Gold.

Range River Gold announced to the ASX an unsolicited‚ conditional proposal to acquire all of the ordinary shares in Firestone by way of an off market takeover offer. Firestone shareholders will be offered one Range River share for every two Firestone shares.

Firestone’s Board advised that Firestone shareholders should take no action and not make any decision in relation to their shareholding until the Board has reviewed and has had an opportunity to consider the Range River Offer.

Following consideration of the offer‚ the Board will determine and advise Firestone shareholders of its recommendation‚ it said.

The offer will not open for acceptance until the Bidder’s Statement is despatched to Firestone shareholders and must remain open for at least one month.

“The Board’s focus will be on maximising value for shareholders and the Range River Offer will be considered in that context. The Board will keep shareholders informed of any further developments and will provide updates to the market as appropriate. The company has retained Kelly & Co. Lawyers as its legal adviser and BBY Limited as its corporate adviser in relation to this matter‚” it concluded. - I-Net Bridge