The Springsure EPC1674 is situated in the Central-Western Bowen Basin Coal Mining District of Queensland. The area is approximately 60km south of the town of Emerald and approximately 420km from the Port of Gladstone. It comprises 11 sub-blocks with a total surface area of approximately 41.42 km2. Both the Springsure to Emerald rail link and the Gregory Highway traverse the South-Eastern edge of the tenement, linking it directly to the Port of Gladstone. The northern boundary of the Minerva Hills National Park intersects the South-Western corner of the tenement.
Resource and Exploration
The Springsure Project area has been explored for shallow coal deposits within infills of Permian sedimentary rocks in graben or half-graben structures which historically host significant coal resources. The main target coal seams were the coal-bearing Reids Dome Beds of the Bowen Basin and the Aldebaran Formation which host coal seams equivalent to those found in Rio Tinto’s Valeria deposit held 65km to the north which show coking coal properties.
The Springsure Project area occurs on strike to the Minerva Coal Pty Ltd’s Minerva South and Minerva No.1 mines which are located approximately 3km to the north. The Minerva Open-Cut mine is a multi-seam mine designed with a production capacity of 2.8 Mtpa high quality thermal coal resources within the Reid Dome Beds coal measures.
An initial resource estimate for Exploration Permit for Coal (EPC) 1674, Springsure Project, was compiled by Moultrie Database & Modelling (MDM) in February 2013. An Inferred Coal Resource tonnage was derived from eight (8) of the fifteen (15) boreholes drilled in TerraCom Limited’s 2012 drilling program. In TerraCom Limited’s 2013 drilling program a further three (3) boreholes were completed and analysed from the northern section of the tenement.
The additional structural and quality information from the three (3) new boreholes has contributed to a more confident level of interpretation of the behaviour of the coal seams and therefore a revised total coal resource of 191.5 Mt has been estimated, with 148 Mt Inferred resource and 43 Mt indicated resource as classified in accordance with the JORC Code 2004.
The Indicated resource was estimated due to the following constraints being available:
- Geophysical Signature pattern and correlation
- Geometry (The triangulation between boreholes prove that the seams are distributed)
- Coal Quality data.
Table 1 and Table 2, below, provides a summary of the estimated Indicated and Inferred coal resource volumes and tonnages. An unexpected geological loss discount was applied for the Inferred coal resource due to the low confidence in the delineation of the seam splits between points and the modelling softwares interpretation of their thicknesses. No unexpected geological loss discount was applied for the Indicated coal resource.
Table 1 – Inferred Resource Summary
|Seam||Plan Area (Km²)||Average Thickness (m)||Total Volume (Mmᵌ)||UGL (%)||RD||Mass (Mt)||Mass after UGL (1000t)|
# A discount factor of 15% has been subtracted from this estimation for unexpected geological losses. This accounts for unexpected conditions such as seam thinning, splitting, or seams missing in barren zones.
Table 2 – Indicated Resource Summary
|Seam||Plan Area (Km²)||Average Thickness (m)||Total Volume (Mmᵌ)||RD||Mass (1000t)|
Reporting of Coal Resources have been estimated in accordance with the Australasian code for reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves (JORC Code, 2004) and the Australian Guidelines for Estimating and Reporting of Inventory Coal, Coal Resources and Coal Reserves, 2003 Edition.
The raw analysis of coal samples from five (5) boreholes intersections of the Reids Dome Beds show a low ash, moderate volatile matter, moderately high calorific value export thermal coal similar to Minerva Coal Pty Ltd’s mines and Xstrata’s Rolleston open cut mine.
A summary of the Coal Quality Results for three boreholes (GCSU010C, GCSU011 & GCSU012) are detailed in here:
|Seam||Average Thickness (m)||Raw ASH||RD||CSN||TM||IM||VM||CV||TS||FC|
|(%) adb||(%) adb||(%)||(%) adb||(Kcal/Kg)||(%) adb||(%) adb|
The Minerva rail spur line crosses the south east corner of EPC 1674.
Feasibility and development
The Springsure Project is an exciting development opportunity.