Liberty Resources' (ASX: LBY) will trade higher today after its first round of exploration drilling intersected multiple coal seams in every hole across a 6 kilometre discovery area at its EPC1949 coal tenement in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.
Notably, the company is already assessing the discovery's economic potential given its highly strategic position.
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.
In addition, the Rangal Coal Measures have been confirmed in the new drill holes with the Leichhardt (L13), Leichhardt (L4) and Vermont (V1) seams present across a wide area.
The company has submitted 54 samples for assay and is now evaluating the potential for an economic resource.
"The drill results to date are extremely encouraging. This discovery is already being assessed for its economic potential to support a shallow open cut coal mine, only 2 weeks after the drill rig was mobilised and 6 weeks after the Permit was granted," managing director Andrew Haythorpe said.
"Whilst share market conditions remain depressed, the company is now experiencing the best conditions for low cost and rapid technical support and Project advancement in 8 years. Rigs, assay laboratories and technical personnel are all readily available.
"This opportunity is being investigated as it presents the company with a unique opportunity to build immediate short term value for shareholders, whilst the company works toward the longer term vision of low cost energy and fertiliser - from coal."
The company will shortly announce a further exploration target range addressing the undrilled portion of the approximately 30 square kilometre Permit area along with the potential for a second round of drilling this year.
The first round of exploration drilling, which has now being completed, was carried out in an area with no known previous drilling.
Importantly, this drilling has confirmed that the Leichhardt (L13), Leichhardt (L4) and Vermont (V1) seams are present across a wide area and at an economic depth, from about 40 metres below surface.
These priority target seams are considered to be commercially viable for open cut mining methods in the area and assay results confirming coal quality are pending.
They also confirm the presence of the prized Rangal Coal Measures, which is currently being mined nearby, over an area of about 2,000 metres by 3,000 metres - or a third of the total EPC area.
Core hole spacing of 500 metres and logged scout holes of 1000 metres and 2000 metres will be 3D modelled as soon as all the data has been analysed and coal quality testing results from Bureau Veritas laboratory is completed.
The drilling, geophysics, survey and laboratory data will be used to issue a maiden JORC Resource with Measured, Indicated and Inferred categories anticipated.
"Encouragingly, the discovery sits below grazing land which has been cleared and grazed over a long period of time - the environmental and agricultural value of the land is evidently low," Haythorpe added.
With multiple coal seams intersected in all holes in the first round of drilling, Liberty Resources has considerably increased the probability that it may have a commercial JORC Resource of coal in its hands.
Importantly, the coal discovery is located within the Bowen Basin, Australia's premier coal producing region, and is just a stone's throw away from coal mining town of Moranbah and producing coal mines.
This offers any potential development a number of commercialisation options.
Upcoming assay results, resource estimates and further drilling are all potential catalysts that could move the company's share price beyond its current $0.04.
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