Bowen Coking Coal nabs prospective ground near major producers
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Bowen Coking Coal is acquiring a new project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin close to a number of major coking coal producers.
Bowen (ASX:BCB)– one of Australia’s only listed coking pure plays — has inked a $200,000 cash deal with Aquila Resources to buy the 14 sq km Isaac River coking coal project, which lies immediately East of BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) operational Daunia mine.
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.
“It’s right next door to BMA’s Daunia mine and exploration has proven that the seams are just running through right into our tenement,” CEO Gerhard Redelinghuys said.
The Isaac River project is also located to the immediate south of Peabody Energy’s Moorvale West project, abuts Peabody’s Olive Downs North project and is about 3km north of Rio Tinto’s Winchester South project.
“It’s really difficult to get hold of good coking coal projects with significant upside, and this specific project is located in an area of the Bowen Basin where there’s ample infrastructure and it’s also in an area surrounded by major producers,” Mr Redelinghuys said.
“That was the big attraction for us — the fact that it is proximate to infrastructure, good quality shallow coal and there are potential synergies with proximate producers and developers.”
The Isaac River project, which is located just 12km from the Peak Downs highway and 3km from the Goonyella rail system, is prospective for coal from the Leichardt seam in the Rangal Coal Measures.
The Leichardt seam is the main target seam and is extensively mined in the area by numerous companies, including BMA at its open pit Daunia mine.
Previous drilling on the project intersected the target seam in several holes between 35m and 142m deep, with seam thicknesses varying between 2m and 5.5m.
On the ground early 2018
Coal quality and washability analysis previously conducted indicated the potential for an 8.9 per cent ash semi-soft coking coal product and a high energy secondary thermal coal product.
Bowen Coking Coal plans to be on the ground early in 2018 working towards the definition of a resource.
“We expect the outcome of the resource investigation to be concluded within the first half of next year, which could potentially lead to a JORC statement with an exploration target,” Mr Redelinghuys said.
JORC compliance refers to the mining industry’s code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.
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