• Greenvale Energy upgrades Alpha Torbanite resource by 51% to 28Mt
  • Resource expected to be able generate 27.7MMbbl of synthetic oil equivalent, up 30%
  • Final stage of liquefaction testing could increase resource confidence and oil output
  • Drilling to expand resources planned for next year


Special Report: Greenvale Energy’s goal of becoming Australia’s only domestic end to end supplier of bitumen products has received a shot in the arm after resources at its Alpha Torbanite project in Queensland were upgraded to 28Mt.

Subjected to extensive exploration and laboratory testing since its initial discovery in 1939, Greenvale Energy’s (ASX:GRV) Alpha project is the only deposit of its type in Australia with torbanite – an organic-rich sedimentary rock (a type of oil shale) rich in hydrocarbons that is hosted within cannel coal (cannelite).

Torbanite is extremely high-grade, containing up to 698l of hydrocarbons per tonne and can produce high-value bitumen products, while cannelite itself is a type of bituminous coal that is also classified as terrestrial type oil shale.

Bitumen – also known as heavy (or extra-heavy) crude oil – is the heaviest, thickest form of petroleum that is essential for infrastructure development. It is used primarily to seal roads, which makes them more durable and weather proof.

However, almost all the +1Mt bitumen used annually in Australia is imported, which means that a domestic source is likely to have little difficulty securing offtakers.


Resource upgrade underpins PFS

The company has now upgraded the resource at the Alpha project following completion of Phase 2 drilling in early October, which saw the drilling of 20 holes totalling 1,053.5m.

It noted that while the overall tonnage of torbanite saw a modest decline, the increased tonnage of cannelite as well as technical advisor Procom’s ability to achieve much greater yields from cannelite than first observed during the third liquefaction test has resulted in a 30% increase in potential synthetic oil production to 27.7 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Yield results and subsequent synthetic oil equivalency estimations are likely to improve following completion of the final stage of liquefaction testing, currently being undertaken by Monash University.

Completion of Test Program Four will also increase confidence in the resource from the inferred to indicated category, which has enough certainty for inclusion in the upcoming pre-feasibility study (PFS).

Additionally, GRV has identified the potential to further expand the resource both down-dip as well as on the adjacent permit EPM 27718 with more drilling.

“This is a fantastic outcome for our shareholders and a very exciting milestone for the company in our journey to develop the Alpha project. The completion of the updated MRE ticks another major box towards the completion of the PFS,” chief executive officer Mark Turner said.

“The significant improvement in the scale of the inferred resource is extremely positive and is expected to improve further when combined with the results from the final liquefaction test program.

“While we are all very pleased with the 51% increase in the MRE, we know that there is still work to be done and we look forward to further updating the market on the Alpha project and the advancements of our partners Monash, Technix and Lycella in the coming weeks.”


Next steps

GRV is currently awaiting results from Test Program Four, which consists of three distinct assessments run by Monash, Licella Holdings and Technix.

It also plans to carry out a 15 hole chip reconnaissance drilling program to delineate potential extensions of the resource next year.

This is expected to further improve resources and the Alpha project’s potential economics.




This article was developed in collaboration with Greenvale Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.