The 8.1Mt resource was classified as 5.2 million tons measured, 0.7 million tons indicated and 2.2 million tons inferred.
Significantly, the Australian-listed company said there appeared to be substantial scope to grow the resource size in surrounding areas, based on preliminary surface geophysical work.
The resource estimate culminated from extensive analysis of an initial 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.
A total of 24 holes were drilled comprising 17 HQ diamond drill holes and 7 open holes within the El Basal, El Silencio and Lara concessions of the project.
14 coal seams were identified across El Basal and El Silencio where the majority of drilling was done, and ten separate coal seams were intersected by three drill holes in the southern section of Lara.
In all three concessions, coal exhibiting coking qualities has been discovered. Preliminary coal quality results indicate that the coal is a medium to high volatile coking coal with relatively low ash and phosphorous, average sulfur values and free swelling indices ranging from 1.5 to 8.5.
Ascot said it would undertake further in-fill drilling on the Lara concession. This was aimed at increasing confidence levels, expanding the resource and assisting in resource interpretation and modeling work.
The company 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 discussions.
A project economic study is underway and expected to be completed by the end of July. Ascot said this study will provide greater insight into the viability of the 90%-owned project.