Pacific American Coal Limited (ASX: PAK) is pleased to provide the following update regarding activity at the Company's 100% owned Elko Coking Coal Project in B.C., Canada.
All permits are now in place and the 2018 exploration program has commenced as planned. Members of the project team and equipment have started to arrive at site to commence the pre-construction activities
The Company has signed drilling and construction contracts with a number of highly qualified firms, including: an experienced regional drilling company for a program of up to 11 Rotary and Spot Core holes; a local construction supplier for equipment to install the access roads, bridges/culverts and drill pads and a number of specialist environmental firms to conduct on site surveys necessary to meet the Permit requirements
The schedule of pre-drilling activities includes
Undertake required environmental surveys
Construction of the access roads and drill pads
Mobilising of the drilling equipment and exploration geologists
Given a positive weather outlook, the full drilling program should be concluded before the end of October with assay and analytical results to follow.
PAK is fully funded for the 2018 exploration program with management focused on planning for the next phase of the development providing the Company with a clear path towards approval for the Elko Coking Coal Project.
Commencement of Exploration Program
The Company is pleased to announce that members of the project team, along with the specialist environmental firms have now commenced the pre-construction activities at the Elko project site. Construction personnel are currently arriving at site along with the necessary equipment and will commence activities shortly. Initial construction work will focus on installing bridges/culverts and access roads to enable the mobilisation of the drill rig and related equipment.
Drilling and Construction Agreements
The Company's wholly owned subsidiary Texas and Oklahoma Coal Company (Canada) Ltd (TOCC), has signed a contract with an established drilling contractor, to drill up to 11 exploration holes at the Elko Coking Coal Project in B.C. Canada. The contractor is one of the largest global exploration drilling companies with excellent knowledge and experience in the East Kootenay Basin.
The exploration contract included the supply of suitable drilling rigs along with all necessary supporting equipment, supplies and personnel to undertake the planned RC drilling and 3-inch coring. The Company received a number of responses to the drilling RFP and made a decision based on engaging a firm that was safe, technically sound and submitted a cost efficient proposal. In addition to the drilling contract, the Company has appointed a construction company with a highly experienced local firm, to construct the access roads and drill pads required for the exploration program.
As a condition of the Notice of Work granted by both the Provincial Governments, the Company is required to conduct a number of environmental surveys on the planned river crossings and on certain sections of the planned access roads prior to the commencement of any construction activities. A number of local firms have been engaged to conduct these surveys and activities that include: Archaeological Survey, Water & Fish Survey, Bird Call Survey, Field hand & Geological Support.
The drilling program has been designed in consultation with the Company's geological consultant. The program will focus on improving the coal quality information, identify general structural trends, features and domains and importantly collect coal core from the high value SM7 and SM5/SM6 seams.
Timeline and Schedule
The construction of the access roads, bridges/culverts and drill pads is scheduled to take approximately 1-2 months, with the drill rig due on site within 3-4 weeks. Subject to weather conditions remaining favourable and drilling conditions as expected, the drilling phase is also expected to take approximately 2 months. With some activities scheduled to occur concurrently, the entire program including delays, is expected to be concluded in the last quarter of the CY2018.
Assay and analytical results, including an updated geological model is planned for completion in the first quarter of CY2019.
Commenting on the finalisation of the drilling contract, PAK Chairman Geoff Hill said: 'It is an exciting time for the Company as we commence the drilling activities at the Elko Project. Positive results from the drilling will enable us to move quickly towards the next phase with the ultimate goal of bringing a new world class coking coal mine into production. We remain unique amongst our peers, with a fully funded exploration program and additional cash for other activities.'
About the Elko Coking Coal Project
The Elko Coking Coal Project is located in the Crowsnest Coalfield of the East Kootenay Coal Basin in British Columbia. The project currently has 257MT of JORC 2012 certified Resources, with a planned exploration program scheduled for summer 2018 to further delineate reserves and resources. Of the seven coal seems at Elko, three have been identified as having the potential to produce a hard coking coal product, which will provide a strong product mix with both HCC and premium quality PCI.
In May 2017Palaris Australia Pty Ltd (Palaris) delivered a favourable Project Study Report which highlighted why Elko is such a highly attractive opportunity for PAK including: Projected Low Capital Entry; Competitive Infrastructure Advantage; Coking coal quality comparable to Canadian peers