Hodges Resources Ltd, the Australian listed outfit, said the laboratory results from the drilling programme have confirmed quality shallow coal seems at its Morupule South Coal Project.
The company said 25 individual raw coal core samples were selected for analysis on the basis of geological boundaries and have been summarised as weighted averages of composite intersections with the percentage of ash being less than 40 percent.
The drilling results have defined continuous coal seams over the length of the 5 holes (8km strike) which remain open in all directions.
Further interpretation of seam correlations and the extent of the shallow coal in the East Block are still being investigated and will be updated as new drilling data comes to hand.
Hodges Resources Managing Director, Mark Major, said they are extremely encouraged by the initial coal quality results on these shallow seams.
“Even after applying a 40 percent ash limit on coal seams we still have sizable coal seams. If we use all the sampled seams, we have over 20m of coal in each hole,” Major said.
“We are still drilling and undertaking more laboratory work on our Morupule South project, but the Eastern block has given us confirmation that we have numerous bituminous seams hosted within the larger sub-bituminous seams.”
Major said that the open pit potential of the coal seams remained an important consideration for any future commercial mining operations, and the recent drill results continued to support this case.
After a positive reconnaissance drilling program in the eastern block during late September, which identified numerous shallow thick coal seams, a program of follow-up infill diamond and RC drilling is currently underway.
The initial two diamond core holes of this program (MSD40 & MSD46) were drilled between prior completed reverse circulation reconnaissance holes.
Drill holes MSD46 and MSD40 were drilled during late October after three reverse circulation (RC) holes, namely MSRC01, MSRC02 and MSRC03, encountered multiple thick coal seams at shallow depths within the east block of the Morupule South tenement.
All holes completed to date have been drilled vertically, with coal seam thickness approximating true widths.
Once drilled, drill holes were routinely wireline logged by Exploration Geophysics (Pty) Ltd of Gaborone while recovered drill cores were geologically logged at site and logs later adjusted to correspond with the wireline logs.
Selected samples were then sent to Inspectorate M&L (Pty) Ltd Laboratory in Middelburg, South Africa for initial coal quality analysis.
Following the reception of initial results further samples were then selected for second stage coal wash tests. Results of coal wash tests and additional core analysis will be reported once results are at hand.
To date the programme has drilled 24 reverse circulation holes for 2,961.20m and 6 diamond core holes for 715.08m. Another 3 diamond holes will be completed by the end of 2011.
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.
The sub-basin of the Karoo Supergroup is composed predominantly of shale and mudstone, with subordinate amounts of siltstone, coal, sandstone and tillite.
Previous prospecting within the area was undertaken by Geological Survey in 1957 and Anglo-American between 1967 and 1971, 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 information gathered during these drilling campaigns was used to define the coal resource potential of the licence area.