Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) is another coking coal hopeful getting love from investors this year.

A project development study put a rocket under Aspire this morning, sending its share price up 31.5 per cent.

Aspire Mining has released a PFS into developing its Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia, and the numbers look pretty good.

Miners usually undertake up to four different types of studies to see whether or not a resource can be mined economically. These are – in order of importance — scoping, preliminary feasibility (PFS), definitive feasibility (DFS) and bankable feasibility (BFS).

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 — but first it needs a railway link between the project and Mongolia’s existing rail system.

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

While it’s waiting, Aspire wants to develop a smaller 4 million tonnes a year road-based operation — the OEDP — which will give the miner early cash flow while waiting for rail access.

This would still hinge on the construction of a 560km haul road to connect to the Mongolian rail network and Chinese markets.

The explorer estimates average production cash costs of $US81/t, which “will position Aspire as a second quartile producer on the global cost curve”, the company says.

Development costs of about $US275 million include $165 million to build the 560km haul road – but Aspire reckons it may be able to score third party funding here.

The starter mine would provide annual earnings of US$172m.

A DFS on the road is due for completion around May 2019, and a DFS on the entire OEDP is expected in the third quarter.

Aspire wants to start road construction in the December quarter this year, and is aiming for first coal production in the second quarter of 2021.