Sydney â€“Tuesday January 6 2009 â€“ White Energy Company Limited (ASX: WEC) (OTCQX: WECFY), today announced that its wholly owned US subsidiary, White Energy Coal North America, Inc. (WECNA) has entered into an agreement with Buckskin Mining Company (an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation) relating to WECNAâ€™s development of a coal upgrading facility in the Powder River Basin near Gillette, Wyoming.
Under the agreement, Buckskin proposes to lease to WECNA the property necessary to site the plant at the Buckskin Mine, along with rights of way for access and other ancillary purposes. The estimated $80 million facility, which is expected to be operational in January 2010, will be financed, owned and operated by WECNA and will use WECNAâ€™s patented technology to upgrade coal purchased from Buckskin.
Once the upgrading facility reaches production capacity, which is anticipated to be during the second quarter of 2010, its total annual output is expected to be 1.1 million tons of binderless coal briquettes, which translates into approximately 22.6 trillion BTUs, an increase of 35% over the non-upgraded coal.
â€œWECNAâ€™s investment in this facility underscores our commitment to increasing our presence in North America, where we believe we can play an important role in developing the regionâ€™s energy resources in a cleaner, cost-effective and more efficient way,â€ said Judy Tanselle, President of WECNA.
Buckskin Mining Company is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation. Buckskin operates a highly efficient and productive sub-bituminous coal mine located north of Gillette, Wyoming in the Southern Powder River Basin coal region. The Buckskin Mine has been in operation since 1981 and has produced over 350 million tons.