Hodges managing director Mark Major said the wash testing was the first on the project and had revealed export quality coal with viable yields.
“We have now identified numerous shallow thick coal seams and have the coal quality to support moving this project into the next stage of exploration and development; which means exciting times ahead. The quality and the shallow depth of the coal seams continue to exceed initial expectations,” Major said.
After a positive reconnaissance drilling program in the Eastern block during late September, which identified numerous shallow thick coal seams, a program of follow-up infill diamond drilling was undertaken.
The initial two diamond core holes confirmed the presence of major coal seams. These holes were sampled and sent to the Inspectorate M&L laboratory in Middleburg, South Africa for proximate analysis. After receiving the initial results several selected samples underwent initial wash testing.
“We are still drilling and undertaking more laboratory work on the project but the Eastern block has provided confirmation that we have numerous bituminous seams hosted within the larger sub-bituminous seams that can be upgraded to a high level export product,’ Major said.
“The open pit potential of the coal seams remains an important consideration for any future commercial mining operations and the recent drill results continue to support this case.”
Major said further interpretation of seam correlations and the extent of the shallow coal in the Eastern Block were still being investigated and would be updated as new drilling data and laboratory analysis came to hand.