Aspirational findings

TESTWORK has confirmed Aspire Mining’s Ovoot coking coal can be used to boost up coals from other parts of Mongolia, in particular the massive Tavan Tolgoi deposits.
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The Ovoot coking coal project

Noel Dyson

Under Chinese coking coal classification standards, the Tavan Tolgoi samples, when blended with Ovoot coking coal, all fell within the classification of a “Primary Coking Coal” or “1/3 Coking”

The company has been working with a Mongolian independent research group looking at opportunities to add value to Mongolian coals by blending Ovoot fat coking coals with coals from southern Mongolia.

Coal take from seams 0, 3 and 4 from the Mongolian government’s Tavan Tolgoi deposit that were blended with coal from Aspire’s Ovoot project were sent to ALS Laboratories in Brisbane for testing.

The Tavan Tolgoi samples from the three seams were washed to bring ash levels down to a targeted 10% on an air-dried basis.

They were then combined with washed indicative Ovoot Project coking coal on a 50-50 basis.

Of particular importance is seam 0, which is classified as thermal or weakly coking coal by both Tavan Tolgoi and the adjacent UHG Mine, owned by the Mongolian Mining Corporation.

Thermal coal makes up about 30% of Tavan Tolgoi’s coal reserves and the washed sample from seam 0, when analyzed, exhibited minimal coking properties as expected.

When blended it reached the Chinese Primary Coking Coal classification standard.

Over the next 20 years significant quantities of thermal coal and oxidised coking coal will be mined from the Tavan Tolgoi deposits.

According to Aspire these coals are obvious blending partners for Ovoot coal due to their similar rank and vitrinite categories.

Tavan Tolgoi coals are low in sulfur, whereas Ovoot project coal is high in the caking and plastic properties needed to produce coke.

On June 20 it was reported a consortium involving the UK’s Ashmore Fund and Russia’s Euroasia Investment Fund along with Mongolian Railways had signed off on an investment package to fund the Tavan Tolgoi to Sainshand Railway.

Sainshand Industrial Park is a project of national importance with, among other proposed developments, two coke plants planned for development along with coal blending facilities.

According to Aspire, Ovoot Project coking coal could access the Sainshand Industrial Park via the proposed Ovoot to Erdenet Railway and the existing Trans-Mongolian railway.

Blended coal could be sold south and east to China or north into Russia, along the planned TT sales route.

Aspire managing director David Paull said the positive blending results of Ovoot and Tavan Tolgoi coals demonstrated Ovoot’s fat coal’s carrying capacity.

“This also has the important benefit for Mongolia in being able to establish a new, large and long-term revenue stream for this blended coal adding substantial value to the 100% Mongolian government-owned Tavan Tolgoi mine,” he said.