Aspire on track to expand Ovoot

ASPIRE Mining will work towards enlarging its flagship Ovoot coking coal project in Northern Mongolia after aggressive drilling at the project identified a new coal seam formation.
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Aspire's Ovoot coking coal project

Lauren Barrett

The coal seam is located 4 kilometres from the main resource at Ovoot. Four drill rigs are now working to determine the resource potential of the area.

To date, Aspire has completed 5000 metres of exploration drilling as part of its 2011 exploration program, in addition to infill and hydrological drilling.

Aspire managing director David Paull described the new coal seam as hard, bright or sugary coal.

The company is now working towards determining the extent and orientation of the mineralisation.

Paull said a magnetic program was planned to determine the structure and shape of the Ovoot basin, with a focus on the Jurassic sediment to aid in the identification of possible shallower coal seams.

“With this view of the coal being closer to the base of the Jurassic sediments, it is now evident that potential coal is still open to the northeast and east of the existing resource,” he said.

“We are currently exploring this area as part of the extensions to the Ovoot resource area and to further determine the potential resource.”

Aspire is considering splitting the development of Ovoot into two stages, with the first stage a small scale 0.5-1 million tonne per annum starter open pit.

Stage two development would lift production to as much as 12Mtpa of coking coal.

A stage two scoping study is expected to be finished by the end of 2011, with an estimated mine start-up time in the latter part of next year.

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