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Blending Mongolian coal

World Coal,

The results of test work carried out between Aspire Mining and an independent Mongolian research group indicate that coal from Aspire’s Ovoot coal project could be blended with non-metallurgical coals from state-owned Tavan Tolgoi to produce a good quality metallurgical coal.

The test work found that coals from seams 0, 3 and 4 from the Tavan Tolgoi deposit that were blended with indicative metallurgical coal from Ovoot resulted in a good quality metallurgical coal with a Chinese classification of “Primary metallurgical Coal” or “1/3 metallurgical”.

Seam 0 is generally classified as thermal coal and samples from seams 3 and 4 were confirmed as oxidised coal with nil remaining metallurgical properties.

Samples from these seams were washed to bring ash levels down to a targeted 10% and then combine with Ovoot coal on a 50/50 basis.

Of particular importance is seam 0, which is classified as thermal or weakly metallurgical coal by both Tavan Tolgoi and the adjacent UHG Mine owned by Mongolian Mining Corporation. 

Thermal coal makes up about 30% of Tavan Tolgoi coal reserves and the washed sample from seam 0 when analysed exhibited minimal metallurgical properties as expected.

Over the next 20 years significant quantities of thermal coal and oxidised coking coal will be mined from the Tavan Tolgoi. These are obvious blending partners for Ovoot Project coal due to their similar rank and vitrinite categories.

Tavan Tolgoi coals are low in sulphur whereas Ovoot Project metallurgical coal is high in caking and plastic properties necessary to produce coke.

The results of test work are potentially good news for the Mongolian coal industry. Aspire Mining managing director, David Paull, has said that the results will allow Mongolia “to establish a new large and long-term revenue stream for this blended coal, adding substantial value to the 100% Mongolian Government owned Tavan Tolgoi mine.”

Tavan Tolgoi is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia and is one of the world’s largest deposits of metallurgical coal.

Aspire Mining have provisionally earmarked the Sainshand Industrial Park as an “ideal site” for blending Ovoot and Tavan Tolgoi coals. Coals from the Ovoot project could access the industrial park via the proposed Ovoot to Erdenet Railway and the existing Trans-Mongolian rail line. Blended coal could be sold south and east to China, or north into Russia along the planned Tavan Tolgoi sales routes.

Adapted from press release by Samuel Dodson

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