Continental Coal’s (ASX: CCC) 60 hole and 9,000 metre exploration program in Botswana has commenced with drilling now underway at the Serowe Project and to commence shortly at the Kweneng project.
The company has also updated operating and financial performance at the Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine in South Africa.
Continental Coal is an established South African thermal coal producer, with a portfolio of producing advanced coal projects located in South Africa’s major coal fields.
Continental currently has two operating mines, Vlakvarkfontein and Ferreira, producing 2Mtpa of thermal coal for the export and domestic markets. In 2011, Continental is set to commence development of two further thermal coal mines.
The company has concluded strategic off-take and funding agreements with EDF Trading for its export thermal coal production.
Botswana based geological and mine consultant group Analytika Holdings has been appointed as project managers of the two phase exploration program.
The company’s Botswana based drilling contractors have mobilised two drill rigs to the Serowe Project site and the drilling program is to be completed by the middle of December 2011.The Serowe and Kweneng Projects have an exploration target of 6 ÔÇô 7 billion tonnes.
The Serowe Project is located immediately north of Botswana’s only producing thermal coal mine, the Morupule Coal Mine and the Kweneng Project is 25 kilometres west of Canadian listed CIC Energy’s Mmamabula Coal Project.
Don Turvey, Continental Coal’s CEO, said “this drilling program at the Serowe Project has the potential to generate significant value for the company through sustained exploration success, hence the reason we are so excited to be drilling at this project”.
Botswana represents a unique opportunity for Continental Coal to add significant resources in a highly strategic and important location to its total portfolio of African coal assets.
The company expects initial drilling results will be available during October 2011 and its geological consultants Gemecs will be in a position after completion of the two phase drilling program to prepare a JORC maiden Resource statement on the projects.
Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine Run-of-mine production and domestic sales at Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine of 191,619t and 246,200t has been achieved for the months of July and August 2011.
The Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine generated ZAR12.2 million of net cash flow from operations during July and August 2011.
Total sales tonnes for the two months are just short of the record quarterly 250,012t achieved in the June 2011 quarter. Total sales tonnes for the September Quarter are forecast to be above the 300,000t budgeted by the company.