Aspire Mining has found a maiden 178 million ton (Mt) open pit coal reserve for its Ovoot coking coal pProject in northern Mongolia. The open pit coal reserve is expected to produce 147Mt of high quality marketable coking coal.
Aspire confirmed its Ovoot coking coal project as the country’s third largest coking coal reserve, after the other two including the Mongolian Government owned Tavan Tolgoi deposit and Mongolian Mining Corporation’s Ukhaa Khudag Mine.
Aspire Mining managing director David Paull said the confirmation of a significant initial open pit Coal Reserve of 178 Mt and clear scope to increase this to more than 200 Mt means the Ovoot Project is now comparable with the largest coking coal Reserves in Mongolia outside of the Government owned Tavan Tolgoi.
“Aspire will work through 2012 to increase Ovoot’s Coal Reserves and Coal Resources, however, we are also strongly focusing on the Project’s infrastructure requirements, including the establishment of a multi-user rail line facility,” he added.
“Part of that process will be gaining necessary Government and financial support to progress Aspire’s subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC and the Erdenet to Moron rail extension.” With the significant maiden coal reserve now established, Ovoot pre-feasibility study is nearing completion, and a further 8Mt of inferred resources will be mined in the open pit.
The Ovoot pre-fFeasibility study will have a mine and production plan showing 185Mt of coal mined producing 153Mt of coking coal. The company sees potential to further increase Ovoot’s coal reserves from existing coal resources and further potential from exploration drilling planned for 2012.
Aspire will undertake geotechnical investigations to refine the pit design for extraction of deeper coal that could allow 20Mt of measured and indicated coal resource below 300m to be considered for mining as part of the planned open pit. Further infill drilling to upgrade 18Mt of inferred resources and underground mining studies are also planned.