February 26, 2008
Toronto, Ontario – Vena Resources Inc. (“Vena” or the “Company”) [TSX: VEM, Lima: VEM, Frankfurt: V1R] today announced an initial investment in “Sudamericana de Carbon S.A.C.” (SDC), a Peruvian company focused on the exploration, development and processing of anthracite coal in Peru. Vena’s investment of up to US$2.5 million over time to obtain 70% of SDC will be used to speed up the scoping study for the installation of an anthracite washing plant in Peru, explore Vena’s northern Peru properties where anthracite is known to be available with the goal of identifying a NI 43-101 compliant coal resource, and to purchase an anthracite washing plant based on the results from the scoping study. SDC is currently selling run-ofmine anthracite coal to the local market on a small scale. Vena expects that its investment over time will enable SDC to generate larger sales and margins once an anthracite washing plant and larger briquetting operations are in place.
Anthracite Coal – Peruvian Market
Consumption of run-of-mine (ROM) anthracite coal in Peru is expected to reach 340,000 tonnes in 2008, gradually increasing to 587,000 tonnes by 2010. Current ROM anthracite coal prices are about US$100 per tonne and are expected to increase to US$120 per tonne by 2010. It is important to note that SDC’s envisioned washing plant will generate a product that currently merits a 40%-50% premium over standard ROM anthracite coal material in Peru where there are no such plants yet. Washing plants are used to process ROM anthracite to produce clean coal products.
Anthracite Coal - Industry Background
Anthracite is a "hard coal" with the highest rank, carbon and energy content, combined with the lowest moisture and volatile content of all coals. Approximately 1% of world coal reserves are anthracite grade. Anthracite's unique properties make it suitable for use in a broad range of premium metallurgical, thermal, water purification and composite materials applications.
The most important new market for anthracite is pulverized coal injection (PCI) coal used in the steel industry. PCI coal from anthracite is particularly sought after because of its high carbon and energy content and low volatile (gas) content. This allows for very high injection rates (up to 30%) compared with much lower injection rates for PCI from lower rank bituminous coals. The natural high carbon content of anthracite also makes it suitable for use as a blend coal to reduce consumption of coke in the steel industry blast furnaces and as carbon-bearing material for mini-steel mills as well as for low cost gas generation.
Low ash anthracite coals are also used as a reducing agent in aluminum and titanium processing, carbon filters for water purification, fuels for space heating, chemicals and composite materials. Higher ash anthracite is used in pelletizing and sintering in the steel industry, heating and cooking briquettes, and kiln fuels for the manufacture of cement and lime. Approximately 37% of the world's electricity is generated from coal-fired thermal power plants, some of which are configured to burn anthracite. Anthracite is the preferred fuel source for new "clean coal" technologies for power generation that will contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the high cost of oil is making coal liquefaction technologies economically attractive. World anthracite prices currently range between US$50 and US$250 per tonne, with metallurgical products selling for between US$70 and US$130 per tonne, and filter media at US$250 per tonne.
Processing consists of screens, cyclones and heavy media separation to remove rock impurities. A variety of anthracite products can be produced from anthracite deposits with the primary product being ultra low volatile PCI for the steel industry. SDC is also considering producing premium charge carbon products for metallurgical processing and power plant feeds.
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