Bowen Coking Coal’s second hole at its Cooroorah project has intersected with a thicker coal seam than expected.

The hole intersected the Mammoth seam at a thickness of 4.53m, which the company (ASX:BCB) said was greater than they’d thought it would be.

The Mammoth seam was first encountered in the maiden drill hole at the South East Queensland project in the Bowen Basin at 3.7m thickness, 1.3km to the south.

The seam is a coalescing of the Aries and Castor seams, and until now hadn’t been defined due to a parting between the Aries and the Castor seams.

“The Aries seam has been described as having the best coking coal properties of all the seams present on the tenement, and has regionally achieved a raw (unwashed) Crucible Swelling Number (CSN) as high as eight,” the company told investors.

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.

The Pollux and Pisces seam intercepts of 3m and 4m respectively are also thicker than observed in the first hole and are seen as confirmation of the estimated seam continuance into an area which was not explored by the previous owners.

Cooroorah with drill hole locations, Bowen Coking Coal image
Cooroorah with drill hole locations. Pic: Bowen Coking Coal

“We are extremely satisfied with the outcome of the exploration program, especially with the prospects of the thick Mammoth seam intercepts,” said managing director and CEO Gerhard Redelinghuys.

“We are now looking forward to completing the program early in the New Year and to update our geological models with the new quality and washability data before taking it to an updated resource estimate and concept study.”

The miner’s second HQ core hole in the drilling campaign was designed to increase confidence in the resource, the coal quality and to qualify washability data.

Bowen Coking Coal is working to increase the resource for its Cooroorah project in both size and confidence level.

Cooroorah 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 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.

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.