County’s initial focus is to define a JORC measured coal resource base of a minimum of 1 billion tonnes of export thermal coal in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and to subsequently develop two coal mines, each having a minimum annual production of 5Mt for export to Asian markets.
The company’s JORC measured coal resource has increased by 69% from 310Mt to 526Mt after recent drilling.
The resource upgrade is a result of the company’s evaluation of geological and geophysical data obtained at the project area by Texaco in the 1980s and the additional coal resources at the project area acquired by the company due to the recent exercise of its option over an additional 90 acres of property and coal rights at Shell Creek.
The drillholes and geophysical data will be incorporated into the company’s upcoming stage 2 drilling program at Shell Creek, which will target the lower seams of the project area, with the intention to upgrade the additional seams.
The company expects to begin the stage 2 drilling program in the March quarter.
The resource upgrade program further fast-tracks its plan to develop a large export thermal coal project at Shell Creek.
In a statement, County said the extensive nature of the database acquired over the Shell Creek project area would also assist in fine-tuning the company’s stage 2 drilling program to upgrade the remaining coal resources at the project area to JORC measured resource status.
“Geological modelling of the resource included new data relating to 18 previously drilled holes over the Shell Creek project area by Texaco, data from six holes already drilled over the project area by the company, further holes previously drilled by Texaco and others in the area immediately surrounding the project area, as well as density calculations and modelling of all drillholes at the Shell Creek project area and area immediately surrounding the project area,” it said.
The preparation of the coal resource upgrade was undertaken by Aqua Terra Consultants in accordance with the JORC code.
ATC prepared County’s independent geologist report for the purposes of the company’s listing on the ASX in late 2011 and inclusion in its prospectus.
It also oversaw the company’s stage 1 drilling program at Shell Creek and Miller.
ATC have been retained to assist in the company’s ongoing resource upgrade program and further drilling programs at County’s project areas.
Following completion of its stage 2 drilling program, washability studies will be conducted on the resource at Shell Creek to enable the company to commence work on the necessary mine plan for the project later this year.
The Miller project area already contains a JORC measured resource and accordingly the company will shortly commence its mine plan for the project.