The Perth-based company is developing its flagship Vista thermal coal project in Alberta, which could produce 11.2 million tonnes of coal per annum.
Coalspur only recently announced the acquisition of an additional 14,432ha of coal-bearing leases adjoining Vista, which have been dubbed Vista Extension.
Coalspur announced a substantial resource increase in the new leases, with the licences totalling 173.7Mt in the measured and indicated mineral resource, while the inferred resource category stood at 969.3Mt.
The resource increase boosts the company’s total measured and indicated coal resource by 15% to 1322.9Mt, while the inferred resource has jumped 181% to 1505.2Mt across the entire project.
Coalspur managing director Gene Wusaty said the resource upgrade opened many doors for the company.
“We are very excited about the Vista Extension, which we believe has the potential to become a stand-alone underground mine,” he said.
“The Vista Extension offers the next phase of growth after Vista Phase 1 and Phase 2 and has the ability to leverage off the rail and port capacity that we have secured, and significantly increases the potential life of mine and rate of production for Coalspur.”
Coalspur already has a solid understanding of the Vista Extension tenements because they are contiguous to Vista.
The company is currently in the final stages of completing a longwall scoping study on Vista Extension.
The longwall scoping study, to be released in a few weeks, will examine mine scheduling, production scenarios and coal handling and preparation.
Meanwhile, Coalspur has committed $C3.3 million for a drilling program on Vista and Vista Extension.
The drilling program will comprise of up to 26 rotary and six core drill holes, which will help Coalspur to understand the geological structure and coal quality in the new area.
“We are planning an extensive drilling program which will commence during the second half of the year to further define the resource base, ahead of commencing a pre-feasibility study in early 2013 in order to fully evaluate this exciting potential growth opportunity,” Wusaty said.
Vista has the potential to be the largest export thermal coal mine in North America, with first coal tipped for 2015.