Oracle Coalfields plc

June 17, 2009 02:00 ET

Wardell Armstrong International Scoping Report Completed

                                             Oracle Coalfields PLC
                           Wardell Armstrong International Scoping Report Completed
                              Environmental & Social Impact Assessment Commenced

Oracle  Coalfields  PLC (PLUS: ORCP) ("Oracle" or "the Company"), the UK developer of the  1.4  billion  tonne
Block  VI coal deposit in southern Pakistan, is pleased to announce that Wardell Armstrong International (WAI)
has  completed  the scoping report in respect of their proposed Thar Coalfield development. WAI has  commenced
the  Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), to be undertaken in parallel with the phases of Bankable
Feasibility Study (BFS).

Following  a  site visit in April, WAI has released its scoping report.  This enabling document sets  out  the
main  project  parameters  for the baseline study and identifies the potential significant  environmental  and
social  impacts of the planned open pit mining operation.  A photographic record of the site was  compiled,  a
visual reconnaissance level assessment of on-site conditions was obtained and various settlements within Block
VI  and  nearby villages were visited to form an initial assessment of environmental conditions and nature  of
communities that may potentially be affected by the project.

During  the  visit, meetings with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and local communities revealed  strong
support for the Block VI project, as well as expectations of positive employment and economic benefits arising
from  it.   They  also  expressed  their concerns to be addressed within the  study  and  pledged  support  to
facilitate the ESIA process.

The formal ESIA for the Block VI project will be prepared to a standard appropriate for a Feasibility Study to
World  Bank  (WB)  and  International  Finance Corporation (IFC) requirements  and  will  follow  the  Equator
Principles and IFC Performance Standards.  In addition, the work will also meet in-country EIA requirements.

The  next  stage of the ESIA process is the collection of environmental and social baseline data to provide  a
current  site  setting  and  sufficient information to enable detailed impact prediction,  both  in  terms  of
significance  and  scale. This will include data on land take, flora/fauna, air quality & noise,  water  (both
surface and groundwater), and social baseline information.

Although the Thar Desert is one of the more highly vegetated deserts of the world, with a variety of shrub and
scrub species, it is considered to have relatively low biodiversity with regard to flora and fauna. There  are
no  permanent  surface water features in the area of the Block VI project, although during  the  rainy  season
surface  ponds and flows are present, creating potential for discharge from mining operations to  enter  these
surface water flows.

Three  aquifers  are present in Block VI, two above the coal seam and one beneath it.  Open  pit  mining  will
require the aquifers above the coal seam to be dewatered, and this will provide water for both the project and
the local population.

There  are  various small settlements present within Block IV but, the report states, given the potential  job
creation  leading  to multiplier effect on the local economy, the local communities appear  receptive  to  the
project.   It is to be noted that much of the population in the Tharparkar District live in relative  poverty,
having  few  options for income generating activities. The major economic activities in the  area  are  animal
husbandry and agriculture which is mainly for subsistence and not for market sale.

In  addition to the scoping work, Oracle will be appointing contractors to carry out sub-crop drilling, hydro-
geological and geotechnical studies, geophysical reports and mine design work over the coming months.  The BFS
is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010, in line with the original timetable.

Shahrukh Khan, Chairman, Oracle Coalfields PLC commented:

"This  is  another step forward in delivering on the Bankable Feasibility Study in early 2010.  As the  Report
states, we have the support of both the National and Provincial Government, and equally important that of  the
local  community to whom the project brings work, electricity and additional water.  The project supports  the
wider need for power generation in the country."

                                                                                                  17 June 2009
The Directors of the Issuer accept responsibility for this announcement.


Oracle Coalfields PLC
Shahrukh Khan, Chairman
Telephone: +44 (0) 1366500722

St Helen's Capital plc
Duncan Vasey/Barry Hocken
Telephone: 020 7628 5582

Lothbury Financial
Michael Padley, Ron Marshman
Telephone: 020 7011 9411


About Oracle:
Oracle Coalfields plc is a London-based resource exploration and development company with an 80 per cent owned
subsidiary (Sindh Carbon Energy Limited) operating in Pakistan.  The Company's shares are quoted on  the  PLUS
markets (symbol: ORCP).

Oracle's  flagship  project is the Block VI coal project located on the Thar coalfield in  the  eastern  Sindh
province, Pakistan. Block VI hosts a JORC-compliant resource of 1.4 billion tonnes of which 371 million tonnes
are in the proven category.

The  Company  also owns the Indus East coal project in Pakistan where a pre-feasibility study carried  out  by
Dargo Associates has confirmed a JORC-compliant inferred resource of 365 million tonnes.

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