Diamond drilling has begun at the Mea and Bolau coal projects in Botswana. Mine operator, A-Cap Resources, hopes to establish indicated resources that could enable the development of a 1 – 2 million tpa project.
Drilling at Mea will focus on establishing an Indicated resource on the portion of the deposit most suitable for early mining.
In addition, work on Bolau will establish a resource on the shallow up dip extension of African Energy Resources’ 2.5 billion t Sese coal deposit.
August has been set as the deadline for completion of all drilling activity at the two projects.
“Current infrastructure constraints in Botswana will allow 1-2 million tpa projects to come online in the short term, if the commodity price is right,” chief executive officer, Paul Thomson said.
“Our rationale is to drill enough coal resources to enable a ‘plus ten year’ mining operation to be considered, bringing it into the next stage of assessing the economic viability,” Thomson added. “Later as the infrastructure capacity in Botswana grows, the coal resource on our tenements still has the potential to grow with it.”
The Mea project has been identified in a positive study by Sedgman South Africa as a potentially robust future coal mining project. Sedgman recommended feasibility work be carried out to establish a low tonnage export project.
Sedgman also completed a positive coal study for Bolau, highlighting the project’s potential and recommending further drilling and test work be carried out.
The Bolau drilling campaign is focused on defining an Indicated Resource on the basal seam of the shallow up dip extension of the Sese Coal deposit which is approximately 15-25 metres deep at this location.
Drilling will also be conducted on the down dip extension of the Sese deposit within the Foley tenement.
While A-Cap is approaching development of its coal assets within existing transport capacity, the projects have potential to scale up as further transport infrastructure is established.
The Botswana government has actively looked to begin future infrastructure upgrades and has recently signed the Trans Kalahari Railway (TKR) agreement with Namibia.
Both the government and industry are also proactively engaging the Mozambique and Republic of South Africa rail entities regarding increasing capacity.
A-Cap had last year successfully defined a JORC Inferred Resource of 335 million t in multiple seams within a portion of the Mea Project.
The project lies close to existing road, rail and power infrastructure.
The coal seams at Mea range in quality from high quality domestic thermal coal, to export quality coal and possibly material suitable for low ash Pulversied Coal Injection (PCI).
An independent study has been commissioned to assess the commercial development potential of the project as an export mine.
The Bolau Coal Project constitutes the up and down dip extension of African Energy’s 2.5 billion t Sese Coal Project that extends into A-Cap’s prospecting licences PL138/2005 and PL125/2009.
The updip portion is the Foley prospect and the down dip the Bolau prospect.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/08072014/drilling_at_botswana_coal_projects_1055/