The 6-hole, 2470m campaign was initiated after a continuation of TCM’s coal seam was identified in a deposit north of the flagship project.
Confirmation the seam continues to the boundary of the concession will expand the company’s exploration target for the area to 200-220 million tonnes of coal, including TCM’s current JORC resource of 114Mt.
The company said the discovery raised the possibility of either extending the TCM mine plan to the north or establishing a second independent mine.
Pan Asia chief executive Alan Hopkins said the new 10-week drilling program was part of the company’s strategy to react immediately on last month’s encouraging exploration of the deposit north of the main project.
“We have moved quickly to follow up the recent positive results with more drilling as this could add significant mine life and value in the very near term to the TCM high CV [calorific value] coal project,” he said.
TCM currently has potential to produce 1.5-2Mt per annum of thermal coal over an initial 15-year mine life.
Pan Asia has a 75% interest in TCM, with local partners acquiring the remaining 25% stake.