Hodges Resources, the Australian exploration outfit, has announced an updated resource statement for the Morupule South project in BotswanaÔÇöa project from which the company is currently earning 75 percent in and has the right to earn 99 percent.
The 2.3 billon tonne JORC (2004) Inferred Resource and indicative product washing yields have exceeded the company’s initial expectations of the project by 485 percent, according to latest update.
Hodges Managing Director, Mark Major, said the material increase in the resource estimate along with the project’s open cut potential make Morupule South an exciting prospect for shareholders.
“We have identified significant shallow thick coal seams and have the coal quality to support moving this project into the next stage of development,” Major said.
“The coal quality and the low strip ratios are extremely encouraging and now the confirmation of a 2.3 billion tonne JORC Inferred Resource puts Morupule South on the radar of a number of prospective end users and strategic investors,” he added.
The Morupule coal project is located directly to the south of the operational Morupule Colliery in central east Botswana. The project consists of one prospecting licence (PL121/2010), which covers a total of 264.4km2.
Hodges is completing a JV earn in for 75 percent and up to 99 percent with SDNP Manufacture Mining and Construction Services (Pty) Ltd.
Previous prospecting within the area was undertaken by Geological Survey in 1957, Anglo-American between 1967 and 1971 and a Shell Coal Botswana and Government of Botswana joint venture in 1974.
Three recent exploration drilling campaigns were carried out between 2006 and 2008 by SRK Consulting on behalf of MCL.
The updated resource estimate is based on an additional 52 drill holes, including 15 diamond drill holes (2,076 meters) and 37 reverse circulation (RC) open holes (5,070 meters). These plus geologically correlatable historical holes were used in estimating the current resource update. Diamond holes were drilled to a nominal HQ size.
All diamond and the majority of RC open holes were geophysically logged and depth corrected. Hodges added that coal bore core samples were delivered to the SANAS accredited M & L Inspectorate Pty Ltd laboratory in Middelburg, South Africa for proximate analysis and washability test work.
PL 121 Morupule South is located within the sub-basin of the Karoo Supergroup being composed predominantly of shale and mudstone, with subordinate amounts of siltstone, coal, sandstone and tillite.
“There are up to four main coal seams occurring within the resource area PL121 Morupule South. The typical sequence of coal seams are the Serowe Bright Seam (SSB), followed by the Lotsane Bright Seam (SLB), the No.2 Seam (S2B) then the thicker Morupule Main Seam (SMM); which has been broken down into two separate sub seams, namely the Top Morupule Seam (SMT) and Bottom Morupule Seam (SMB),” Hodges said in an update to shareholders.
It added that the coal seams are considered relatively flat with the floor dip ranging between 0-6┬░, with an average dip of 1.4┬░.
“High dips are related to geological structures, as well as proximity to basement floor ridges. Average seam thickness range from 0.6m for the SSB seam, 2.6m for the SLB seam, 1.9m for the S2B seam,10.3m for the SMT seam, and 7.3m for the SMB seam.”
“Not all seams are present within the entire tenement, with the upper seams not existing in areas influenced by basement highs or removed by varying weathering profiles or erosional events. Igneous intrusions are present within the tenement, with intruded or heat effected coal not included within the Resource estimate.”
GEMECS (Pty) Ltd from South Africa was commissioned to estimate the current JORC (2004) compliant 2.3 Billion tonne Inferred Coal Resource within PL121 Morupule South.
Coal resource classification
Coal resource classification was done using the JORC (2004) code as a guideline. An inferred coal resource was delineated up to areas with a maximum of 4000m borehole spacing. Only boreholes with adequate sampling coverage for each coal zone, were considered for this classification.