The secured contract is for first of the three bids made by the company in March 2012 as part of the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 4 (PECR4).

Area 3 – Cantanduanes is located on the eastern seaboard of Philippines and covers 7,000ha taking Altura’s total South-east Asian coal exploration holdings to over 24,000ha.

The company now plans to begin exploration work in the contract area while awaiting the status on the remaining two contracts.

Exploration work will be carried out in line with the approved work program and stakeholder consultation process.

PECR4 was aimed at was aimed at the development of energy projects that will help meet the expanding domestic energy requirements.

Philippines reported 2.37 billion tonnes potential coal resources of mostly sub-bituminous rank in December 2010 with domestic consumption totaling 14 million tonnes in 2011.