The updated resource is 90% higher than Riversdale’s previous resource of just under 2Bt coal, while the reserves include 181.3Mt proved coal reserves and 92Mt probable reserves.
The company, which hopes to develop Benga with the help of joint venture partner Tata Steel, said the upgraded resources and the new reserve provides further support for its investment in the project.
At the same time, Riversdale has pushed forward with its Mining Contract and Mining Concession with the Mozambican government, with final approvals expected in the June quarter.
However, Riversdale has pushed back the deadline for its feasibility study at the project to allow the final details of the Mining Contract with the government to be included in the study.
The company also said it hoped to incorporate a reduction in underlying costs – due to the downturn of the global mining industry – into the feasibility study.
Riversdale hopes to begin producing coal by 2010, and aims to ramp up to full production of 20Mt per annum including 6Mtpa of hard coking coal and 6Mtpa of thermal coal of saleable product.
The company plans to export coking coal and utilise the thermal coal at a minemouth power station.
Benga is 35%-held by Tata, and the project is in the same region as Vale’s planned $US1.3 billion ($A1.83 billion) Moatize coal project.
Shares in Riversdale gained 19c or 5% yesterday on the new resource to $4.44, but were unchanged this morning.