The resource was confirmed at depths of less than 100m, supporting plans for development of a low-cost open cut mining operation.
“An exploration target of an additional 25-35 million tonnes has also been identified at a depth of 100-150 metres and there remains additional exploration potential within this depth range in areas yet to be drilled, so the Maryborough project has now evolved into a real company-maker for us,” NEC managing director Keith Barker said.
“Once the coal quality information has been received from the current laboratory program a further increase in resource confidence is expected, which should result in an increase in resource category.”
The company has submitted a mine lease application for the Colton mine, located within the resource area.
The Colton mine is planned to produce 500,000t of hard coking coal and could be up and running by mid-2011.
“This substantial increase in resources provides scope for further growth in the scale of operations at Maryborough, and exploration and evaluation of options for the longer term development of the entire project area are ongoing,” Barker said.
Northern Energy was trading up 2.34% mid-morning today at $1.31.