The project, operated in joint venture with Mitsui Coal Holdings (10%), adjoins Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek coking coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Earlier the company reported a total indicated coal resource of 23.9 million tonnes, contained in the Elphinstone and Hynds seams. This was today updated to a total of 16.5Mt measured, 8.5Mt indicated and 5Mt inferred coal resources.
Eastern said it expects coal quality results to be available later this month.
“Initial indications are that Broughton will produce both an export quality coking coal and a thermal coal by-product,” the company said.
The joint venture is planning to drill additional cored holes in the area of the inferred resource to improve the resource category. A 400kg coke oven test is also planned to simulate Broughton’s coke properties.
Stage one of the feasibility study meanwhile remains on schedule and should be completed this month. This is focusing on a broad economic model, processing and export strategies and coal specifications.
“Upon completion of these studies and reports, it is likely that in the New Year the joint venturers will be in a sound position to make application for mining tenures followed by a development decision, subject to the feasibility study and regulatory approvals,” the company said.