NEC managing director Keith Barker said the analysis was an important step towards developing the 14 million tonne initial resource announced in September 2005.
“The results provide confidence that a development of the Ashford deposit would produce a hard coking coal that would command a price at the high value end of the coal price spectrum,” Barker said.
Tests showed a washing yield of 72% and product ash of 7.3%.
Drilling will continue at the Ashford project with about half of the 10,000m phase two program completed.
NEC said additional drilling within the area had identified seam thickening, with coring currently to bring the area to a JORC compliant resource.
The company has also been granted two exploration licences in nearby tenements, which will progress under a 50:50 joint venture with Renison Consolidated Mines.