Gina Rinehart’s JV Partner Discovers High-Quality Coal Near Bundaberg

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 7, 2013 2:33 PM EST

While Gina Rinehart remains Australia's richest person despite the reduction of her wealth by almost $1 billion to $17 billion due mainly to lower commodity prices, the mining magnate appears to be set on recovering her lost fortune.

To help her keep a hold on the number one post, International Coal, her joint venture partner, discovered high-quality coal near Bundaberg, which was recently inundated.

In a filing on Wednesday with the Australian Securities Exchange, International Coal informed the bourse of the results of its one drill hole in the Maryborough Basin. The drill yielded a coal swell index of 9, considered as high-quality coking coal, disclosed International Coal Chief Executive Glenn Simpson.

International Coal drilled at depths ranging from 30 to 428 metres. It found coal at the intersections with thickness ranging from 0.66 to 2.63 metres.

Queensland Coal Investments, owned by Ms Rinehart, inked an agreement in 2012 with International Coal in which QCI will spend $3 million on exploring tenements in Maryborough Basin in exchange for a 51 per cent stake in the project.

The basin, found in southeast Queensland, is made up of up to 9,500 metres of Late Triassic to Caonozoic sediments, under water depths up to 1,000 metres. Five petroleum onshore exploration wells were drilled in the area, but except for gas shows in Gregory River 1, the wells were dry.

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