Former gold explorer Bounty Mining is reinventing itself as a coking coal explorer — and is working on an $18 million plan to rejoin the ASX.

Then known as Ausmet, the company listed on the ASX in 2004 as a gold, nickel and copper explorer in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Ausmet was taken over by Bounty Industries in a reverse merger deal in March 2005 and until 2013 operated as a contractor to coal miners.

Unfortunately for Bounty, the downturn hit and the company was forced to endure a couple of stints in voluntary administration.

Bounty has since built up a portfolio of hard coking coal projects in the coal-rich Bowen Basin and Laura Basin in Queensland and successfully raised $17.7 million in seed capital.

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 continuing to rise, due largely to China’s focus on infrastructure and housing.

Global crude steel production was 426.6 million tonnes in the first three months of 2018, up 4.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, according to the World Steel Association.

Bounty is now aiming to list on the ASX by mid-June following the completion of an initial public offer to raise up to $18 million at 35c per share.

The IPO values the company at a market cap of $122.5 million.

Bounty wants to expand operations at its Cook Colliery in the Bowen Basin to four underground mining areas to produce 2.2 million tonnes of coking coal annually.