International Coal (ASX: ICX) can now progress its drilling program planned for the Bundaberg Project after completing negotiations with the majority of landowners within the project area and lodging compensation agreements with the Queensland Government.
The company will now formally notify landholders of its intention to begin drilling on the site as soon as weather permits.
The Bundaberg Project is part of a solidly developing hard coking coal region, which hosts Northern Energy’s (ASX: NEC) proposed 105 million tonne Colton Mine 45 kilometres to the south of the project.
Bundaberg also lies adjacent to Guildford Coal’s (ASX: GUF) exploration permit EPC 1872 where current exploration is being undertaken. Other near neighbours to the project include Cliff Resources and Hancock Coal.
The Bundaberg Project already has a small JORC Resource of around 1.5 million tonnes, however the target is 280-350 million tonnes of coking coal.
During 2011, International Coal worked closely with the Moultrie group in assessing the prospectivity of the project.
Bundaberg has shown the potential for large tonnages of thermal and coking coal over two exploration coal-bearing targets – the Burrum Coal Measures and the Maryborough Formation.
The primary target is Cretaceous coking coals within the Burrum Coal Measures.
At the Bundaberg Project, International Coal has outlined an exploration program of 23 holes for the first year. While for the second year, it has a planned program of 89 holes and coal quality testing with a total budget of $3 million.
Importantly, the company is well funded to continue its exploration campaigns on its prospective coking coal and thermal coal projects throughout Queensland with nearly A$5.8 million in the bank at the end of the December quarter.
Meanwhile, International Coal has three drill rigs turning at its South Blackall project where the company is aiming to define a maiden JORC Resource in the first half of this year.
The company has already confirmed a significant coal seam structure at the project. South Blackall has an exploration target of 8.8 billion tonnes of thermal coal.
South Blackall comprises an area of 769 square kilometres and consists of 250 sub-blocks, is located 80 kilometres northeast of Quilpie in southwest Queensland and is part of the Eromanga and Galilee Sedimentary Basins.
Providing a major advantage for International Coal is the existing infrastructure, with the permit located close to road and rail that can provide direct access to the Port of Brisbane.
Originally published at: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/25392/international-coal-nears-drilling-at-bundaberg-after-gaining-access-25392.html