Bowen Coking Coal has hit coal in the first hole of its latest drilling campaign at the Cooroorah project in Queensland’s prolific Bowen Basin.

The first of two HQ core holes intersected all the targeted seams in line with the company’s exploration plan, designed to increase confidence in coal quality and washability.

The highlight is the confirmation of the predicted merging of the Aries and Castor seams, which was encountered 3.7 metre thick at 352 metres deep.

Section of the 3.7m Mammoth seam. Pic: Bowen
Section of the 3.7m Mammoth seam. Pic: Bowen

Regionally, the combined Aries and Castor seams are known as the Mammoth seam, which is well known for its good coking properties, especially in the Aries section of the seam.

Previous intercepts of the Aries seam within the tenement have been less than 1m thick, but have been included in the resource as part of the underlying Castor seam as it was separated by a thin interburden layer.

Drilling also intersected 2.96m of the Pollux seam, which was described by the exploration geologist as a “very clean seam”, and at the lower end of the sequence the Pisces seam was intersected at 2m thick.

Resource increase

Bowen Coking Coal (ASX:BCB) is working hard to increase the resource for its Cooroorah project in both size and confidence level.

The company — which is one of the ASX’s only pure-play coking coal companies — debuted on the Australian bourse recently after raising $4.6 million.

Cooroorah currently hosts a resource of 125 million tonnes, of which 70 million tonnes is in the higher confidence “indicated” category and 55 million tonnes is in the “inferred” category.

The Bowen Basin, a 60,000 sq km area in central Queensland, hosts Australia’s biggest coal reserves and virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal, according to the Bowen Basin Underground Geotechnical Society.

Coking coal is vital in steel production — and global crude steel production is at its highest levels since 2012, due largely to China’s focus on infrastructure and housing.

The outlook for the Cooroorah project is good given it hosts the same type of coal structure — known as the Rangal coal measures — mined at neighbouring Wesfarmers’ Curragh mine.

Cooroorah with drill hole locations, Bowen Coking Coal image

The Rangal coal measures are extensively mined throughout the Bowen Basin to supply high quality coking, pulverised coal injection (PCI) and thermal coal for the seaborne market.

PCI is a method for improving the performance of a blast furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals and alloys, generally iron, but also others such as lead or copper.

Initial quality analysis undertaken on the coal seams that lie within the Cooroorah project indicate the potential for Bowen Coking Coal to wash a hard coking coal product as well as a secondary thermal coal or PCI product at high yields.

Second hole underway

Drilling is already underway on the second HQ core hole approximately 1.3km to the North of COR 001, and is expected to be completed before the Christmas break.

The drill cores from the first hole are being sent off for washability and coal quality analysis.


This special report is brought to you by Bowen Coking Coal.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, therefore, consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on the advice.

If this advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, the recipient should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to the product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product.