The Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) between Aspire Mining and the Noble Group has received encouraging coking coal quality results from core samples taken for the 2015 exploration program at the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia.

The ECJV currently has a 90% interest in Nuurstei and Aspire has an option to purchase Noble’s 50% interest in the ECJV exercisable to March 2016.
In October, the ECJV completed its 2015 exploration drilling program at Nuurstei which included the completion of 24 non-core drill holes and 31 PQ diamond core holes.

Proximate analysis from 31 core holes shows coal with moderate to high ash, mid to low volatility, low sulphur and high FSI.

Indicative washed coal quality specifications have been received for samples taken from four core holes which were tested at the ALS Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar. Additional washability results are expected before the end of the year. Indicative wash yields are moderate, varying between 25% and 75% (product ash typically 9% ad). Washed coal specifications are excellent, with the product predominantly a high quality hard coking coal.

Petrographics were completed on five washed coal samples with vitrinite content averaging 90% and maximum vitrinite reflectance ranging from 1.3 to 1.4. With its moderately high rank and excellent plastic properties, the results indicate Nuurstei product would produce a low to mid volatile, top tier hard coking coal.

Once JORC 2012 resource calculations are complete, the ECJV intends to commence a scoping study for this project initially on road-based transport to the nearest rail head at Erdenet, approximately 360km to the east.

Nuurstei will also benefit from being able to access the Erdenet to Ovoot railway which is expected to pass approximately 70km to the south. This railway is to be constructed by Northern Railways LLC which executed a concession agreement with the Government of Mongolia in September 2015 and has recently received its construction licence.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull said, “While raw ash levels are moderate to high, coal yields from washing indicate the coal can realise a product with ash in the range of 9% to 10%. Clean coal properties indicate a low to mid volatile hard coking coal consistent with expectations from the 2014 exploration program, and would be attractive to end coking coal users.

“We now look forward to receiving the JORC coal resource estimations which are currently being prepared by the ECJV’s geological consultants.”