Coking coal hopeful Aspire Mining has locked in the $15 million it needs to complete feasibility studies on its Ovoot Early Development Project (OEDP) in Mongolia.

Investors liked the news, sending Aspire’s (ASX:AKM) share price up almost 18 per cent to 2c in morning trade.

The share price has traded between 0.6c and 3.2c over the last 12 months.

The financing included a circa-476 million share issue to a new major shareholder — valued at 2.1c per share — which raised $10m.

Aspire is developing a huge coal project known as Ovoot in north-western Mongolia — but first it needs a railway link between the project and Mongolia’s existing rail system.

The 250 million tonne Ovoot project would potentially produce up to 10 million tonnes a year of high quality coking coal over a 21-year mine life.

In June, Aspire shares jumped on news the Russian and Mongolian governments were planning to upgrade the Russian-Mongolian Ulaanbaatar Railway and lower tariffs to boost trade flow between the countries.

In the meantime, Aspire has kicked off studies into a smaller road-based operation — the OEDP — which will give the miner early cash flow while waiting for rail access.

Aspire told investors today it was accelerating the OEDP pre-feasibility study (PFS), which should be finished by January next year.

The Aspire share price over the past year.
The Aspire share price over the past year.

Miners can undertake up to four different studies when examining whether or not a project can be mined economically.

These are – from least to most comprehensive — scoping, preliminary feasibility (PFS), definitive feasibility (DFS) and bankable feasibility (BFS).

Aspire chairman David Paull said the explorer would provide OEDP feasibility details in early 2019, and looked forward to quickly progressing towards first coking coal production.