Ascot Resources (ASX:AZQ) has inked a maiden JORC coal resource with high quality coking values at its Titiribi Coal project in Colombia, with vitrinite levels up to 80 per cent and Free Swelling Indices values up to 8.5.
The maiden resource at Titiribi was 8.1 million tonnes classified as 5.2 million tonnes Measured, 0.7 million tonnes Indicated and 2.2 million tonnes Inferred.
Significantly, there appears substantial scope to grow this resource size in surrounding areas from preliminary surface geophysical work on surrounding areas.
Ascot holds a 90% interest in the Project, today's results highlight potential to produce a premium quality coking coal product, perhaps as early as late 2014, with low impurities.
The resource estimate culminated from extensive analysis of the Phase 1 work program which included historical data review, photo geological interpretation, mapping, surface sampling, ground geophysics resistivity programs, tri-cone and core drilling and geological logging, down hole geophysical logging and core sample analysis.
Resource estimate basis
- A total of 24 holes were drilled comprising 17 HQ diamond drill holes (totalling 2,898m) and 7 open holes (totalling 896m) within the El Basal, El Silencio and Lara concessions.
- In all, 14 coal seams have been identified and correlated in two concessions (El Basal and El Silencio).
- Three diamond drill holes in the southern part of Lara intersected ten separate coal seams having an aggregate thickness of 25.5 metres.
- Preliminary coal quality results indicate that the coal is a medium to high volatile coking coal with relatively low ash and phosphorous, average sulphur values and Free Swelling indices ranging from 1.5 to 8.5.
- Coal quality analysis on 10 samples taken from seam 300 (which represents 36% of the total Resource) show that the coal has vitrinite levels up to 80%, which indicate a bituminous coal rank.
- Subsequent infill drilling program to be determined, with a focus on upgrading classification in all three concessions and expanding Resource estimate within Lara beyond current levels.
- Preliminary surface geophysical (resistivity) work on surrounding concessions coupled with coal outcrop data, photo geological mapping and projections from existing drilling strongly suggest that current coal resource estimates can be expanded beyond current estimates.
Coking properties - further test work
In addition to the coal quality results highlighted above, Ascot selected samples to confirm its expectation (from earlier test work) that the Titiribi deposit contains coking coal.
Ascot will complete further metallurgical test work on other drill samples in the future and when able, will look to develop a series of test pits to access near surface or outcropping coal seams to provide a bulk sample to interested parties to support off-take related discussions.
Ascot will continue to undertake further in-fill drilling on the Lara concession aimed at increasing confidence levels and expanding the Resource and assist in Resource interpretation and modelling work.
Detailed modelling of the Company's coal deposit will enable mine planning work to be finalised and allow completion of a Project Economic Study - anticipated by the end of July 2013.
This study will provide greater insight into the economic viability of the Titiribi project.
Infrastructure advantages of Titiribì project
A major advantage is access to existing infrastructure at Titiribì. The project lies only 2 kilometres to major highways which provides a means to export product from Turbo or Port Buenaventura (350km and 450km from the project respectively).
- Completion of Scoping Study in July
- Prove up mineral resources and complete advanced feasibility and development studies by Q4 2013.
- Commission plant and establish mining facilities to commence maiden coal production by mid-2014.
There are milestones ahead for Ascot, the coal quality is a pointer to future prospects.
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