Oracle Coalfields plc

May 13, 2009 02:00 ET


                                                  Oracle Coalfields PLC
                              AUDITED RESULTS FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2008
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 its results for the period ended 31 December 2008, a period of sustained progress that has continued into 2009.


?	Drilling has defined a JORC Compliant Measured Resource of 1.4 billion tonnes and a Proven Reserve of 371 million tonnes at the Block VI licence, Thar Coalfield, Tharparkar, Province of Sindh, Pakistan

?	Coal is of lignite quality and suitable for combustion in power generation stations

?	Private placing completed in June 2008 with Orbis Equity Partners Limited raising £453,750 

?	Chairman, Shahrukh Khan, presented at a World Bank and International Finance Corporation Investor Roundtable on Pakistan?s Power Sector in Washington D.C. during July 2008 


?	In-depth commissioned research report published on Oracle Coalfields by Edison Investment Research

?	Placing raising £249,400 

?	Work programme for a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) on the Block VI licence to commence in second quarter 2009.  The Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is already underway.

Shahrukh Khan, Chairman, Oracle Coalfields PLC commented:

?I am pleased to be able to report good progress by the company in 2008 and that this has continued into 2009.  In particular, our Block VI project in Pakistan?s Thar coalfield has been progressed to JORC-compliant status and we have recently raised additional funds to enable the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) to be initiated.   Wardell Armstrong International, the environmental and engineering consultants, have been appointed to carry out the ESIA and commenced the first stage of the study in April.  

?Over the coming months we anticipate a strong flow of news being generated as the BFS and ESIA progresses, and will also be looking to progress the planned power station component of the project..  The project is a very important component in the development of Pakistan?s economy and therefore has full support from both the provincial and central Governments.

I look forward to updating shareholders as these programmes advance?.


The  past 12 months have seen Oracle Coalfields achieve a number of important milestones from which we can develop into
a  leading  coal  producer  in  Pakistan. Unquestionably, the most significant milestone  was  the  completion  of  the
exploration  work  programme  at  Block  VI  of the Thar Coalfield, which enabled  the  deposit  to  be  taken  to  the
internationally  recognised  JORC ("Joint Ore Reserve Committee") status, as announced in May  2008.  Other  highlights
include  being  given  the  opportunity  to  present at a World Bank and  International  Finance  Corporation  Investor
Roundtable on Pakistan's Power Sector in Washington D.C, USA, in July. We also completed a private placing in June that
raised £453,750 and we have raised further monies to fund the Bankable Feasibility Study since the end of the reporting

Despite  the  current  perception  regarding  Pakistan, the Company continues  to  make  significant  progress  towards
delivering  a  cost-effective coal mine combined with electricity power generation. The Company has full  support  from
both the provincial and central governments of Pakistan.

Block VI, Thar Coalfield, Sindh Province

Our  80% owned Pakistan subsidiary, Sindh Carbon Energy Limited, was granted the 66.1 square kilometre Block VI licence
of the Thar Coalfield by the Mines and Mineral Development, Government of Sindh, in November 2007 for an initial period
of  three  years. The Geological Survey of Pakistan had compiled a substantial amount of information on the geology  of
the Thar Coalfield since its discovery in the 1980s, and our Block VI licence was no exception.

In  2005  the  China North East Geological Survey Bureau ("CNGB") completed a 35-borehole programme  on  Block  VI,  as
commissioned by the Sindh Coal Authority,  drilling 9,852 metres, of which 5,986 metres was cored. Access to this data,
provided  by  the  Sindh  Coal Authority, enabled Oracle Coalfields to fast-track the project  to  the  internationally
recognised  JORC  standard through a seven borehole verification programme, which were drilled  to  depths  of  200-240
metres, four of which were open-holed to 100 metres, the other three being fully-cored. The drilling was carried out by
Deep  Rock Drilling (Pvt) Ltd. of Karachi and the geophysical logging was performed by Geoscience Associates of Lahore.
These  boreholes were logged using calliper, density, resistivity and radioactivity sondes. The results of the drilling
programme  confirmed the results of the previous drilling done by CNGB that Block VI contains a number of lignite  coal
horizons,  of these, the main seam having cumulative thickness of between 20-28 metres at a depth of approximately  150
metres.   The  above drilling programme was overseen by the UK-based international coal consultancy,  Dargo  Associates

The  results  of the validation programme were announced last May, and Dargo Associates defined a JORC-compliant  1.423
billion tonnes measured resource, with a proven reserve of 371 million tonnes at phase I and phase II of the delineated
mine  areas  at  Block VI. The results and analyses from the drilling programmes by CNGB and Sindh Carbon  Energy  have
shown  the  geology at Block VI to be simple, with no known dislocations, and confirmed the quality of the coal  to  be
lignite.  This is ranked between peat and bituminous coal and is therefore suitable for combustion in power  generation
as  well  as  other industrial uses (e.g. cement industry).  Meanwhile, the stripping ratio of phase I is estimated  at
6.91:1, rising to an estimated 6.94:1 in phase II.

The  coal at Block VI has an average calorific value of 3,537 kcal/kg, a moisture content of 40%, which can be  reduced
to  14% by drying, a sulphur level of 1.2%, and an ash content of 7.5%, which is low when compared with typical lignite
coals.  Coal tests were carried out by TES Bretby Ltd in the UK, and the Fuel Research Centre, part of Pakistan Council
of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Karachi and Rock samples were tested by Strata Surveys Ltd of the UK.

Work  in recent months has focussed on the mine plan, and it has been concluded that the southern part of Block  VI  is
the most suitable for open pit mining, to be carried out in two phases. There is sufficient coal resource to support  a
1,100  MWe  power  plant in the concentrated mine area but we intend to initially develop a 300  MWe  mine-mouth  power
plant. Block VI can support a 2.5 million tonnes per annum open pit capable of supplying 1.75 million tonnes of lignite
coal  to  a  300  MWe mine-mouth power plant and a further 0.75 million tonnes to local industry.  The  next  stage  of
development  at  Block VI is completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study, the first stage of which  commenced  in  April
2009.  We  anticipate a strong flow of news whilst the Bankable Feasibility Study is progressed toward completion,  and
look forward to keeping the market informed of the results from the work programme.

Since  the quality of coal at Block VI means that its principal use is as feedstock for a power plant, we are therefore
focussed  on examining our options for such development. The construction and operation of a mine-mouth power plant  is
key  to the success of the project, and we will be keeping the market informed of our progress on this front during the

During the second half of 2008, we set out a programme for a listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of  the
London  Stock  Exchange.  The intention was to list on AIM in the 4th Quarter of 2008.  We appointed a highly  regarded
Nominated Adviser and a well-known Broker, who both visited the Block VI project in Pakistan and intended to  take  the
Company  to  AIM.   Extensive due diligence was performed on the Company as part of which respected  Pakistan  lawyers,
Hafeez  Pirzada Law Associates, were appointed under instruction from our UK lawyers, Trowers & Hamlins, to  provide  a
Legal  Opinion on the Company and specifically on our joint-venture company, Sindh Carbon Energy Limited  (SCEL).   The
Legal  Opinion is extensive and highlights four keys aspects that are: (a) the Company and SCEL, (b) the  promoters  of
SCEL,  (c) the status of the exploration licences and (d) repatriation of the capital and remittance of dividends  from
Pakistan.   As  a  result of this Legal Opinion and the actions taken by SCEL and the Company  on  the  advice  of  our
lawyers, SCEL and the Company have sound legal status in Pakistan.  The shareholding of Oracle Coalfields PLC  in  SCEL
has  been  registered with State Bank of Pakistan as Foreign Equity Investment on Repatriable Basis with permission  of
remittance of dividend/capital to Oracle Coalfields PLC as and when due.  Furthermore, a Competent Person's Report  was
undertaken by Dargo Associates Limited and an AIM listing document prepared which is near complete for future use.

The  purpose  of  the AIM listing was to raise funds to proceed with the Bankable Feasibility Study.  However,  in  the
light  of  deteriorating  international financial markets, the Board decided  to  defer  the  AIM  listing  to  a  more
appropriate time.  Our intention to move up to AIM remains as this would allow the Company to raise the necessary funds
to  bring  the Block VI, Thar Coal Project into production as well as developing a larger institutional investor  base.
The Board will keep shareholders updated on our progress towards achieving this AIM listing.

Despite  deferral  of the AIM listing, we decided to proceed with the work programme by raising interim  funds  on  the
London-based  PLUS  Market in order to commence the Bankable Feasibility Study, including the  Environmental  &  Social
Impact Assessment.  With these funds, we are endeavouring to complete the Bankable Feasibility Study by early 2010.

KhoreWah, Indus East, Sindh Province

In  early February 2007 our subsidiary, Sindh Carbon Energy Limited, was granted an exploration licence over 100 square
kilometres  of the KhoreWah coalfield in the Indus East region of the Sindh Province of Pakistan. Boreholes  KHW-1  and
KHW-2,  drilled  by  the  Geological Survey of Pakistan in 1992, served as the basis for estimating  an  inferred  coal
resource  for  the  area, in line with the JORC Code, of 365 million tonnes, with an indicated resource  of  around  24
million  tonnes.  The depth of the coal seam is such that underground mining would be necessary in order  to  make  the
project economic.

The  granting  of  the more advanced and geologically attractive Block VI project in the Thar Coalfield  has  seen  the
development  of  the  KhoreWah  licence  deferred in recent months in order to utilise  available  funds  in  the  Thar
Coalfield.  However,  whilst available resources have been focussed on the development of  Block  VI,  it  remains  our
intention to further develop our KhoreWah licence at a suitable point in the future.

The Pakistan Power Market

Increasing  the  capacity  of  the national grid is of essential importance to Pakistan and  to  the  country's  future
development. Currently, the country has a total installed generating capacity of around 20 GWe. Plants fuelled  by  gas
and  oil, account for 37% and 29% of capacity respectively, whilst hydroelectric power is the other major power source,
representing  roughly  one-third of capacity. Nuclear power represents only 2% and coal a  mere  1%  of  capacity.  The
Government has estimated that by 2010, the country would have to increase its generating capacity by over 50% in  order
to meet the increasing demand for electricity.

There remain many rural areas in Pakistan that do not have access to electricity, whilst roughly half of the population
is  not  connected to the national grid. Rotating blackouts are too frequently necessary in all serviced areas  of  the
country.  In recent years, foreign investment has increased significantly for power projects in the country,  but  this
has  largely  been  directed  at hydroelectric, nuclear, and renewable energy projects. The  development  of  the  Thar
Coalfield is of national importance, and the lead time from construction to commissioning for both mine and power plant
is  short  in  comparison to that of nuclear reactors. Hence, coal offers both a near-term and  long-term  solution  to
increasing the country's generating capacity.

Electricity consumption in Pakistan has been growing at a higher pace than the country's economic growth rate in recent
decades  due to increasing urbanisation and industrialisation.  From 1970 to the early 1990s, the supply of electricity
was  unable to keep pace with demand that was growing consistently at 9-10% per annum.  In the early 1990s, peak demand
exceeded supply capability by about 15-25%, necessitating load shedding of about 1,500-2,000MW in this period.

In  the  1990s a decline in Pakistan's rate of economic growth, coupled with real increases in the price of electricity
and  changes  in legislation, resulted in a large increase in the self-generating capacity installed in the  industrial
sector, contributing to a reduction in electricity demand on the Pakistan national grid.

But,  as  a  result of economic reforms by the previous Government, economic growth in Pakistan rose  resulting  in  an
increase in electricity demand on the Pakistan national grid.  The Government of Pakistan has estimated 6-8% per  annum
economic  growth  over  the next two decades. At this rate, the demand for electricity would  outstrip  supply  with  a
shortfall  in  power  generation  projected from 2008 to 2020. The aggregate projected shortfall  in  power  generation
between 2008 to 2020 is 51,796MW.

From  a supply perspective, assuming maximum exploitation of Pakistan's hydroelectric resources, optimistic development
of  coal resources, limited imports of gas and an indigenous moderate nuclear power programme, predictions are that  by
2025,  coal's  contribution is to rise to 17% (2006-2007: less than 1%) This significant increase  compares  favourably
with oil and gas, which would see a fall in their respective market shares.

While  oil  and gas currently account for the majority power source, rising global fuel prices make coal a  potentially
cost-effective long term solution against a backdrop of wide spread power shortages across the country.

The International Coal Market

Coal,  like  the majority of all hard and soft rock commodities, has suffered from falling prices. The first  round  of
annual  contract  negotiations  that were completed in Japan in April, saw Xstrata and  Rio  Tinto  seal  thermal  coal
contracts with Japan's Chubu Electric for the 2009/10 fiscal year at prices around 44% lower than a year ago of $70-$72
a  tonne.  The  spot price for thermal coal is down 70% on the record-highs of $201 per tonne reached in July  2008,  a
result of lower demand from the industrial sector, as the steel mill slumps have seen, coal production diverted to  the
power market instead.

The  price  of  hard coking coal, meanwhile, is also down. It is understood that in April, Nippon Steel  Corp,  Japan's
largest  mill,  agreed  to pay around 67% less for its supply of coking coal than 12 months previous.  In  2008  Nippon
struck a deal to buy coal at $240 a tonne, but last month agreed a price for this year of $80 a tonne.

As  we have discussed before, the Company will not be dependent upon the international market spot price for coal,  but
rather  will be reliant upon the electricity tariff agreed with Pakistan's National Electric Power Regulatory Authority
("NEPRA"), and a supply price agreed with the mine-mouth power plant division at Block VI. Work is on-going with regard
to the electricity tariff and the planned development of the mine-mouth power plant.  Initial discussions regarding the
funding of the power plant and major partner selection will commence shortly.

Principal risks and uncertainties facing the Group

Following  completion  of  the exploration work programme at Block VI in the Thar Coalfield  and  commencement  of  the
technical  studies  and  related  Environmental & Social Impact Assessment leading to the  planned  completion  of  the
Bankable Feasibility Study by early 2010, the principal risks and uncertainties include those summarised below:

-       the ability to raise sufficient funds to continue to develop Block VI
-       the  conclusion  of  production  off-take agreements at requisite commercial  rates  to  justify  the  project
-       the prompt sourcing of specialist mining equipment to ensure earliest project realization
-       the stabilisation of the on-going political situation so as to ensure the vital interest and support of major
        financial lenders for the project
-       the maintenance of current government legislation and regulations that have so far favoured the development of
        the project as a flagship foreign investment necessary to strengthen the country's economy
-       infrastructure development plans for the Thar region being funded and completed by the relevant federal and/or
        provincial government authorities.
-       the satisfaction of environmental and social concerns and the provision of viable remedies


The  financial  results  for  the  twelve months to 31 December 2008 show a loss for Oracle  Coalfields  Plc  Group  of
Companies  after taxation of £452,018 (2007: £225,960) (Company: £445,819). At the period end, the Group  had  cash  at
bank  and  in  hand  of  £143,154 (Company: £140,807) and total assets less current liabilities of  £530,359  (Company:
£510,673).  The basic loss per share was 0.41p (2007: loss 0.33p). The loss is attributable to the development  of  the
Company's coal licences in Pakistan and administrative expenses.


No dividends will be distributed for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Post Period

On  23rd March 2009 the Company announced the placing of 5,000,000 ordinary shares with investors, raising proceeds  of
£150,000,  which will enable the Company to commence work on the Bankable Feasibility Study for Block VI  of  the  Thar
Coalfield.  On  5th  May  2009, the Company announced a further placing of 3,313,334 ordinary  shares  with  investors,
raising  proceeds  of  £99,400 for working capital needs and for the Bankable Feasibility Study.  These  placings  have
essentially enabled the Company to proceed with the development of Block VI.

The  Company  has appointed Wardell Armstrong International Limited, a major environmental and engineering consultancy,
to  do the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment which is an integral part of the Bankable Feasibility Study for the
Block  VI  Thar project.  On a recent visit to Pakistan, Wardell Armstrong met relevant provincial government officials
and  ministries, non-governmental organisations and the local Thar community.  Wardell Armstrong is proceeding with the
completion  of  the scoping study leading to the baseline and impact study.  Additional international consultants  have
been identified to do the various technical studies, including hydrogeology, geotechnical and mine design.  The Company
expects the technical studies as well as the initial environmental report to be produced in 4th Quarter of 2009.


The  Board is pleased with the progress made to date in its objective to take the Company towards being a leading  coal
producer  in  Pakistan. We look forward to the coming 12 months, and believe that our confidence and  enthusiasm  about
Block  VI, Thar Coalfield will be further confirmed as the Bankable Feasibility Study progresses. We also believe  that
we  will  be  in  a position to inform the market on the progress of the planned mine-mouth power plant in  the  coming

In  spite  of the recent financial market turbulence, the share price has remained steady.  After reaching  a  previous
high  of  10.5p,  the  share price is now trading at a mid-price of 5p, at the time of writing, still  up  66%  on  our
original listing price.

Finally,  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those connected with the Company for their hard work  over
the  past  year  and the shareholders for their ongoing support. The Board also extends its thanks  to  the  Mines  and
Mineral  Development, Government of Sindh, and the Sindh Coal Authority for their continued assistance as well  as  the
support from our local partners, Sindh Koela Limited.

We  will  present  an  update of our progress and the planned work programme for this year in our next  Annual  General

Shahrukh Khan
May 11, 2009

                    FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                             Year Ended                                       
                                                                        31/12/08                        31/12/07
                                                                              £                              £
          Revenue                                                             -                               -
          Administrative expenses                                         (228,944)                     (237,911)
          OPERATING LOSS BEFORE EXCEPTIONAL ITEMS                         (228,944)                     (237,911)
          Exceptional items                                               (235,669)                           -
          OPERATING LOSS                                                  (464,613)                     (237,911)
          Finance income                                                    12,595                        11,951
          LOSS BEFORE TAX                                                 (452,018)                     (225,960)
          Tax                                                                 -                                -
          LOSS FOR THE YEAR                                                (452,018)                    (225,960)
          Attributable to:
          Equity holders of the parent                                     (452,018)                    (225,960)
          Earnings per share expressed
          in pence per share:
          Basic                                                               -0.41                       -0.33
          Diluted                                                             -0.34                       -0.28
                                                                           Year Ended                       to
                                                                            31/12/08                     31/12/07
                                                                                £                           £
          Exchange difference on consolidation                                8,112                        1,744
          NET INCOME RECOGNISED DIRECTLY IN EQUITY                            8,112                        1,744
          LOSS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR                                      (452,018)                    (225,960)
          TOTAL RECOGNISED INCOME AND EXPENSE FOR THE YEAR                                    
                                                                            (443,906)                   (224,216)
          Attributable to:
          Equity holders of the parent                                      (443,906)                   (224,216)
          31 DECEMBER 2008
                                                                               Year Ended                   to
                                                                                 31/12/08                31/12/07
                                                                                     £                       £
          Intangible assets                                                       409,722                 120,391
          Property, plant and equipment                                             4,678                   5,170
          Investments                                                                 -                      -
          Loans and other financial assets                                         68,029                  65,596
                                                                                  482,429                 191,157
          Trade and other receivables                                              25,844                   3,981
          Cash and cash equivalents                                               143,154                 357,654
                                                                                  168,998                 361,635
          Trade and other payables                                                121,068                   9,589
          NET CURRENT ASSETS                                                       47,930                 352,046
          NET ASSETS                                                              530,359                 543,203
          Called up share capital                                                 114,046                 108,546
          Share premium                                                         1,068,406                 642,844
          Retained earnings						         (668,122)	         (224,216)	                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                  514,330                 527,174
          Minority interests                                                       16,029                  16,029
          TOTAL EQUITY                                                            530,359                 543,203
          The  financial  statements were approved and authorised for issue by the Board of Directors  on  11
          May 2009 and were signed on its behalf by
          S Khan - Director
          31 DECEMBER 2008
                                                                               Year Ended                   to
                                                                                 31/12/08                 31/12/07
                                                                                                          as rated
                                                                                                                                                                                                           £                          £
          Intangible assets                                                        181,006                 68,129
          Property, plant and equipment                                                 -                       -
          Investments                                                               64,115                 64,115
          Loans and other financial assets                                         213,385                 47,385
                                                                                   458,506                179,629
          Trade and other receivables                                               31,978                  3,932
          Cash and cash equivalents                                                140,807                350,533
                                                                                   172,785                354,465
          Trade and other payables                                                 120,618                  8,664
          NET CURRENT ASSETS                                                        52,167                345,801
          NET ASSETS                                                               510,673                525,430
          Called up share capital                                                  114,046                108,546
          Share premium                                                          1,068,406                642,844
          Retained earnings                                                       (671,779)              (225,960)
          TOTAL EQUITY                                                            510,673                 525,430
          The  financial  statements were approved and authorised for issue by the Board of Directors  on  11
          May 2009 and were signed on its behalf by:
          S Khan - Director
          The above is an extract from the full financial statements. A full version of the Report and
          Accounts are available on the PLUS website.
          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
                 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.
                 Oracle Coalfields plc

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