Continental opportunities in Botswana

CONTINENTAL Coal has set an exploration target of 6.6 billion tonnes for coal projects in Botswana it will pick up through the acquisition of private South African company Mashala Resources.
Continental opportunities in Botswana Continental opportunities in Botswana Continental opportunities in Botswana Continental opportunities in Botswana Continental opportunities in Botswana

Production at the Vlakvarkfontein mine, image courtesy of Continental Coal.

Blair Price

Independent geologist consultancy Gemecs set the exploration target for the two projects in Botswana, with about 2.7Bt expected to be at shallow to moderate depths.

Continental’s Kweneng project is located near Aquila Resources’ Western Mmamabula and Lechana-Tsihimoyapula projects.

This project is 5 kilometres southeast of Toronto-listed CIC Energy Corporation’s Mmamabula project.

CIC has a resource base of around 2.9Bt and shares in the company soared after it recently announced its possible takeover by an unnamed Indian conglomerate.

But the bulk of the exploration target was set in Continental’s Sorowe project to the north, which is expected to host around 1.95Bt.

Continental’s Botswana portfolio covers three prospecting licences and a total area of 964 square kilometres.

The junior South African thermal coal producer is planning an initial 21-hole drilling program for the Botswana projects for 2011.

“The company has moved quickly to obtain an independent assessment of the potential of the Botswana projects,” Continental chief executive Don Turvey said.

“The findings have clearly exceeded our expectations. Whilst our main focus remains the rapid development of our advanced South African-based export thermal coal projects, it is important that Continental remains exposed to such a significant future coal field development in Botswana.

“The recently announced $C480 million proposal of CIC Energy by an unnamed Indian conglomerate is an indication of the strategic importance that this coalfield will have in the coming decade due to regional energy deficiencies and an ever-increasing global demand for resources and energy.”

Continental shares closed down 3% to 6.5c yesterday.