ASX-listed Celsius Coal is moving towards a start-up of its Uzgen Basin Coking Coal Project and shortly aims to update the 255 million tonne resource. It will also soon complete laboratory testing.
In a recent interview company chairman Alex Molyneux said, “We’ve had a successful exploration field season with some record drill intersections. It all looks good in the drill logs but we now have to assess the analytical data, translate it into an updated JORC resource statement and look at what it means in mineable tonnes whether it be open cut, underground or by auger.
“We aim to complete first stage laboratory testing by the second week of December and then we have a second phase of CSR (Coke Strength after Reaction) testing which should be completed late February 2014. CSR is an important characteristic for off-take partners, but we believe this testing will show a good quality of coking coal.
“We have a pretty aggressive schedule and are looking at using auger or high wall mining equipment for a quick start up targeting saleable production for 2015. We are looking very hard at this mining method not only because of its ease of start-up but its low cost and its broader application. We will also be looking at a number of open pit scenarios which also fit a 2015 timeline.”
In response to the company’s 2013 drilling program Alex Molyneux said, “Besides the promise of Kargasha we hold high hopes for the Kokkia side of the deposit because of its potential to deliver higher value coal and potential for open cut mining and we have not been disappointed with a record intersection of greater than 16 metres. The drilling in Kargasha has gone pretty well as expected but Kokkia has delivered some exciting results.
“A 255 million tonne resource is very large for a low-ash contiguous coking coal resource, so our priority this year was filling the gaps in our knowledge by focusing more work where we considered the best value resource was and where it would be best to start mining. We got what we needed to get done in terms of a better understanding of the mining prospects and we can also say that as a result of our 2013 work the resource will grow materially as well when we publish our next update.
“As part of our program this year, we have taken some larger diameter PQ cores so that we can provide larger samples for CSR. We have been talking to a number of potential Chinese customers and they have indicated that it is one of the important tests they would like to see.
“Looking to the future we are planning our field campaign for 2014. Integral to this will be the development of adits to source some large bulk samples for testing in China. All the potential consumers we have spoken to have said that if we can get coal to the border they are really keen to test it in their coke plants.”