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A Cumbrian coal revival

World Coal,

Cumbria and the Borders could soon witness a revival of the metallurgical coal industry, as New Age Exploration (NAE) releases exploration results from the company’s Lochinvar project.

A total resource of 111 million t – comprising 49 million t indicated and 62 million t inferred – has been defined following phase 1b drilling over the summer, according to NAE.

The resource estimate is based on 9 holes drilled by the National Coal Board (NCB) from 1979 through to 1983 and 10 holes drilled by NAE in 2013 and 2014. Over 100km of seismic data was also incorporated in the resource estimate providing interpretative evidence for the lateral continuity of coal seams.

Results of drilling (both historical and from NAE) indicate that Lochinvar will produce high-volatile, low-ash metallurgical coal at a high yield.

NAE Managing Director, Gary Fietz, commented: “The successful Phase 1b drilling program has resulted in the conversion of 44% of our initial Inferred Resource estimate to an Indicated Resource. This forms the foundation of our Scoping Study which is progressing well and will be completed by October.”

Donna Sheehy, exploration manager at NEA, said the firm still faces a few more years of exploration before mining can begin, but added that a mine at Lochinvar could eventually create around 300 jobs.

“What’s happened now is we’ve got a lot more confidence in the resource,” she added.

The new estimates show a slight drop of 1 million t in the total coal from the previous October 2013 results.

Written by Sam Dodson

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