The project has attracted protests from nearby residents in Sutton Forest, which includeUrban and his wife Nicole Kidman, who are concerned about noise and dust from trucks transporting coal to Port Kembla and threats to the water table.
A review of historical cored holes, together with the incorporation of validated data, had provided the company with increasing confidence in the extent, continuity and quality of the resource, Cockatoo said.
“The revised resource estimate arising from the review forms an important part of the prefeasibility study of the Hume project which includes mine planning, water table and environmental studies and is set to commence in the coming weeks,” it said.
Exploration drilling activities, comprising open, cored and water monitoring drill holes have continued, the company said.
A large diameter coring program designed for washability and product quality testing has been completed with the samples currently being analysed.
Cockatoo is the manager and has a 30% interest in the Hume project, with Korean giant Posco holding the balance.
The Hume project is located in an established coal field in the southwest portion of the Southern Coalfield of NSW, approximately 160km from Sydney with existing rail infrastructure providing access to Port Kembla.
The project's coking coal exhibited strong metallurgical properties of very low phosphorus and good fluidity, Cockatoo said.