ASF Group (ASX:AFA) associate company Civil & Mining Resources Pty Ltd (CMR) has upgraded Resources at Dawson West Thermal Coal Project in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, to 645 million tonnes from a maiden 119Mt.
This follows CMR lodging in September a Mineral Development Licence application for the project.
The updated resource consists of 129Mt in the Indicated and 516Mt in the Inferred categories and is based on exploration conducted over only 8% of the 1,436 square kilometre project area.
This includes the completion of 28 boreholes totalling 7,568 metres, geophysical logging, seismic and sampling data.
ASF has a 68.205% stake in CMR, which is currently held by its 53.69%-owned subsidiary ASF Resources Limited.
Dawson West is a new coal precinct about 40 kilometres southwest of Moura town and close to coal rail infrastructure that links to coal terminals at the Port of Gladstone, Queensland.
The deposit within the Triassic Moolayember Formation is potentially suitable for longwall, shortwall and linear style mining in multiple seams from 0.8 metres to 3.5 metres thick at depths from 5 metres to 487 metres.
Coal quality shows export grade thermal product in the J0 and M, M1, M0 coal seam intersections, with low sulfur content, washed ash of < 7% (air dried basis) and > 6700 kcal energy (air dried basis).
"This is a huge discovery for CMR and the State of Queensland as we have identified a new coal precinct that is close to Infrastructure and is only 233 kilometres from the Gladstone Port region," CMR managing director Nicholas Williams said.
"The second phase drilling campaign has been a great success, increasing our resource confidence into the Indicated category and overall Inferred Resource significantly from the initial exploration program."
Scope for significant increases in tonnage exists across substantial unexplored areas with an exploration target of 2 Billion tonnes.
Williams added that CMR had only explored 8% and there was immense scope for significant increased tonnages across the existing unexplored areas.
"CMR will launch into a pre-feasibility study in the coming months to look into potential mining methods, transportation options and the overall economics of the project," he said.
"From our recent success, CMR is looking into options to further advance the Dawson West Project and will be running a process to find a development partner and will be short listing candidates in the interim.
"CMR is committed on maintaining low exploration costs, to take advantage of the current cyclical low-point by optimising exploration at a point where the supply of equipment and human resources is available at significant discounts to previous pricing."
Particularly encouraging in the initial coal analyses is the banded bright coal character with low ash, low sulfur and indications of swell.
Results from the first five 'M' seam borecores sampled to date by A&B Mylec Pty Ltd has returned ply ashes ranging from 7.9% to 43.3 %ad, with the entire seam raw ash being 20.7 %ad.
The two 'J' seam borecores were sampled as three plies each, with ply ashes ranging from 10.9% to 22.4 %ad, with the entire seam raw ash being 21.3%ad.
Full washability testing is currently in progress; however a cut-point product sample generated by Float/Sink at a low specific gravity of 1.35 suggests that a product representative of typical Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin thermal coals can be achieved at a yield over 50%.
A&B added that the limited data available to date indicates that the Dawson West product would meet typical Newcastle export thermal coal Calorific Value GAR and GAD benchmark specification, which presently trades at around US$73.86 per metric ton FOB.
All coal quality parameters including total sulfur, chlorine and HGI lie within desired quality ranges. The project is in the early stages of exploration, with laboratory analysis still in progress.
Results to date should be considered indicative, pending a full resource coal quality evaluation at completion of this exploration phase.
Dawson West is located 40 kilometres southwest of the Moura coal rail infrastructure that links to the coal terminals at Port of Gladstone.
An excellent network of road exists within the tenement allowing easy access for further exploration and evaluation of the coal potential within EPC 2427.
CMR has lodged a Mineral Development Licence application for the project with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
Once the MDL is granted CMR will carry out further studies on the defined resource to advance the development of the Project.
This will involve exploration, including feasibility studies; metallurgical testing; bulk sampling (trial pit); environmental and engineering studies.
Upgrading the Dawson West resource to 645Mt highlights the value of ASF Group's diversified mineral portfolio.
It is worth remembering that this resource was derived from exploration over the 112 square kilometre explored area, which comprises just 8% of the 1,436 square kilometre project area.
This is a new coal precinct close to operating coalmines, road and rail infrastructure and the townships of Moura and Theodore - which together are a significant positive for prospects of future development.
To top it off, CMR has 25 exploration permits that offer further potential for more coal discoveries.
Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX "Small and Mid-cap" stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.