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Prairie Mining secures major Polish coking coal project following courtroom battle (PDZ)

Prairie Mining shot up today after announcing that a civil court has ruled in its favour in legal proceedings against Poland’s Ministry of Environment to protect security of tenure over its Jan Karski coking coal project.

In July 2015, Prairie secured the exclusive right to apply for a mining concession at Jan Karski, subject to receiving approval for development plans and securing an environmental consent decision by 2 April 2018. Due to a delay in the issue of an environmental consent decision, Prairie was not able to meet this deadline.

However, the right grants Prairie the legal ability to apply for a ‘mining usufruct agreement’ for an additional 12-month period of exclusivity beyond April 2018. The firm applied for this agreement in December last year and, under Polish law, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) is obligated to grant the extension within three months of application. As the MoE failed to give this extension, Prairie began legal proceedings against the government body to protect its security of tenure over Jan Karski earlier this month, sending shares down by 28.6pc in the process.

However, shares were up 13.1pc, or 4p, to 34.5p today after Prairie said the Polish Civil Court has ruled that the MoE cannot grant licences to or make agreements with any other party until court proceedings have finished. According to Prairie, this decision provides security of tenure over the Jan Karski concessions and safeguards its rights at the project.

Furthermore, the Lublin regional director for the environment has declared that the process to establish an environmental consent decision for Jan Karski will be concluded by 30 June this year. The decision paves the way for Prairie’s submission of a mining concession application.

Jan Karski is a large scale semi-soft coking coal project located in the Lublin Coal Basin in south-east Poland. It is situated adjacent to the Bogdanka coal mine, which has been in commercial production since 1982 and is the lowest cost hard coal producer in Europe. According to Prairie, Jan Karski has the potential to produce a high-value ultra-low ash semi-soft coking coal with a coking coal product split of up to 75pc.

Prairie’s other coal project is the Debiensko Mine, a hard-coking coal project located in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin in the south west of the Republic of Poland.

Author: Daniel Flynn

Disclosure: The author of this piece does not own shares in the company mentioned

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