Bowen digs deep at Shotover

DRILLING has begun at Bowen Energy's Shotover project in Queensland, which is thought to contain extensive areas with the potential to host quality underground coking coal at depths of 300 metres and more.

Christine Feary

A drill rig supplied by JD Drilling has begun work at the southern end of the lease, targeting coal seams of the Bandana Foundation.

Extrapolation from adjacent coal mines and exploration areas showed potential for extensive coking coal resources, and Bowen said exploration within the project is directed towards coal reserves that fall within the prime range of a 1.0–1.2% coal reflectance zone.

With nearly all the potential coking coal areas in the Bowen Basin covered with mining leases, mineral development licences and exploration permits for coal, the remaining target areas lie at depths of 300m and more.

Bowen Energy said this presented a challenge, as the resources will contain gas and may be subject to geotechnical challenges such as thrust fault zones and residual stresses.