Liberty Resources (ASX: LBY) has revealed that a high quality coking coal fraction with a crucible swell number greater than 9 can be produced from its EPC1949 coal tenement in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.
The tenement is located in close proximity to a number of open cut coking coal mines and an existing rail system which connects two major coal export ports.
This follows an initial drill program completed and confirmed coking coal on EPC 1949, Two parallel cored holes were sampled.
The report ranked the coal's vitrinite reflectance at 1.35, well within the range for hard coking coals.
Sulphur content and fluidity were also found to be within acceptable limits. They were also found to have low phosphorus content. The relative ash placement level selected of 10.5% was also found to be at the higher end of internationally traded coal in Queensland.
The potential to produce a 13% ash product for blending with lower ash coals will increase the theoretical yield.
This is based on the two composite samples processed so far and further drilling to collect more samples over a broader area is being planned.
Liberty is now investigating the hard coking coal quality and quantity that might be present in EPC 1949, and what costs might be expected to produce a saleable product.
- Exploration: Collecting data to allow definition of a JORC Resource and investigate potential of the lower seams;
- Laboratory: Conduct a "ply by ply" raw coal analysis to identify "sweet spots" in the EPC as well as an ash analysis on all seams. The company will also obtain sufficient samples for a 7 kilogram coke oven test and prepare a 13% ash product and explore additional product options;
- Coal Preparation: Explore alternative treatment processes, determine the possibility of producing a secondary PCI product as well as determine and document a suite of the thermal coal properties present; and
- Market Studies: Reviewing the benefits and issues when de-watering and briquetting fine coal and the potential effect on coking coal quality of the Barrow Process as well as exploring the potential of blending with adjacent producers.
Liberty is now preparing to collect additional raw sample to conduct preliminary drop shatter test work and wet tumble breakage testing to assess the liberation of coal from different size fractions.
This will provide basic data for a cost-benefit analysis on grind size versus liberation.
The company added that while the predicted theoretical yield is relatively low using accepted industry techniques on similar coal seams, investigations are underway into alternative methods to optimise yield.
This suggests that there is potential to improve liberation and yield.
EPC1949 is located close to rail and other infrastructure with drilling intersecting multiple coal seams in every hole across a 6 kilometre discovery area.
Coal has been discovered from as shallow as 10 metres below surface while the Fort Coopers coal has been logged with thicknesses of up to 48 metres.
The Rangal Coal Measures, which is currently being mined nearby, has been confirmed over an area of about 2,000 metres by 3,000 metres - or a third of the total EPC area while the Leichhardt (L13), Leichhardt (L4) and Vermont (V1) seams appear to be present across a wide area.
These priority target seams are considered to be commercially viable for open cut mining methods in the area.
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