The result places the open pit as the third largest coking coal reserve in the country.
The explorer said the project was expected to produce more than 147Mt of marketable coking coal and noted a potential to further expand the reserve.
Further geotechnical investigations to refine pit design could allow 20Mt of additional measured and indicated coal to be added to the reserve and infill drilling might upgrade inferred totals by 18Mt.
The company also broached the possibility of pursuing underground mining studies at the site.
“The confirmation of a significant initial open pit coal reserve of 178Mt and clear scope to increase this to more than 200Mt means the Ovoot project is now comparable with the largest coking coal reserves in Mongolia outside of the government-owned Tavan Tolgoi,” Aspire managing director David Paull said.
“Aspire will work through 2012 to increase Ovoot’s coal reserves and coal resources, however, we are also strongly focused on the project’s infrastructure requirements, including the establishment of a multi-user rail line facility.
“Part of that process will be gaining necessary government and financial support to progress Aspire’s subsidiary, Northern Railways and the Erdenet to Moron rail extension.”
Aspire said announcements regarding the rail feasibility study and a prefeasibility study for Ovoot were imminent.
Ovoot is situated 300km to the northwest of the Elegest coking coal deposit which has more than 1 billion tonnes of coal reserves.