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Universal Coal targets 2012 Feasibility Study at Brakfontein thermal coal project, South Africa

Universal Coal (ASX: UNV) plans to undertake a Feasibility Study at the Brakfontein Thermal Coal Project in South Africa in 2012 following a resource update.

Following a 72 hole drilling program and resource estimation, Universal has reported a JORC Measured Resource of 70.53 million tonnes.

Brakfontein also has an Indicated Resource of 14.9 million tonnes, and Inferred Resource of 2.2 million tonnes.

The coal is contained within the 5, 4, 2 and 1 seams with characteristics typical of the Witbank Coal Field, which hosts the deposit.

Although the coal resource at Brakfontein has been reduced from the initial resource of 125.6 million tonnes, these figures reflect greater certainty about the project.

The reduction came about as a result of the presence of previously unknown basement highs where no coal has developed, and historical mined out areas.

Universal chairman Dr Tony Harwood said; “It is very pleasing to report a Measured Resource at Brakfontein. We now have a very high level of confidence in the resource that allows us to apply for a mining right and proceed with a feasibility study.”

The company has submitted the mining right application, and plans to proceed with a feasibility study for the project in early 2012.

South African operations

Brakfontein is one of Universal’s three near-term thermal coal production assets hosted by the Witbank coalfield in South Africa.

Importantly, the majority of South Africa’s electricity is coal generated, and most of that comes from the Witbank coalfield.

The company also has two prospective coking coal projects in the country that it is looking to develop.