The 800-acre Brian Jones lease, which contains the marketable Blue Gem coal as well as the Jellico and Moss seams, is contiguous to the Gilliam Hill lease the company acquired in April. It is also centrally located to NAG’s existing operations in eastern Kentucky.
NAG has begun preparation work to submit the mining permit application for Brian Jones to the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources.
It is one of five leases the company is currently permitting, with the others being Swan Pond, Granny Rose, Gilliam Hill North (Jamieson) and Gilliam Hill South.
Drilling is planned for Brian Jones to verify seam thickness and quality on all three known seams. Costs are expected to be relatively low due to favorable mining conditions and strip ratios, much like the producer’s other leases.
"We are pleased that the company was able to successfully expand our lease holdings in this particular area given the extensive presence of Blue Gem coal," NAG president Charles Desjardins said.
"North American Gem plans to continue expanding its lease holdings in Kentucky and continues to make progress with the mining permitting process."
Headquartered in Vancouver, North American Gem has a coal focus in Saskatchewan, Kentucky and West Virginia.