Crowsnest Exploration reveals thick coal seams

Montem Resources Crowsnest drilling exploration has revealed thick coal seams at Chinook Vicary and believes the hard coking coal is amenable to open pit mining.

Following its recent ASX listing, Montem Resources (ASX: MR1) has completed its 2020 drilling program at the Chinook Vicary target area with all holes unearthing thick coal seams.

The company began drilling Chinook Vicary in late September and has completed 13 reverse circulation holes for 1,411m across eight sites.

Montem noted the maximum apparent cumulative thickness across the holes was 61.1m, with an average cumulative coal thickness of 22.7m.

Mineralisation was identified near-surface, with Montem anticipating it was amenable to open-cut mining.

Montem managing director and chief executive officer Peter Doyle said the company was “really excited” by its drilling success at Chinook Vicary.

“We know the Chinook Vicary area contains high-quality hard coking coal, as it was previously mined underground and exported to Japanese steel mills.”

“Historical data pointed to a large resource of low strip ration coal adjacent to the old underground mine.”

“To get out and drill it and confirm the thick seams and areas of low stripping ratio resources are there, helps confirm our belief that the Chinook Vicary area can host a large open-cut hard coking coal mine.”

Mr Doyle said the coal quality test results are expected in January and the company would complete a new mining concept study for the Chinook project.

Advancing Chinook coking coal project

The Chinook Project is located in the Crowsnest Pass of southwest Alberta. The project is made up of two large areas, Chinook South (south of Coleman) and Chinook Vicary (north of Coleman).

The Chinook Project covers an area of approximately 10,000 ha, and contains three significant historical underground mines (Vicary, McGillivray and International).

The project hosts an indicated and referred resource of 149.1 million tonnes.

Additionally, Montem has devised an exploration target for Chinook Vicary of between 125Mt and 450Mt.

The wider Chinook project covers 9,746 hectares and hosts numerous historical open pit and underground mines.

More than 40km of strike has been identified across Chinook.

The main rail line, operated by Canadian Pacific Railway, travels through the project and provides direct access to coal export terminals in Vancouver.

Montem Resources purchased the Chinook Project in 2016 and has been utilizing historical information from the previous mines to update historical resource estimates and complete preliminary engineering studies.

In 2019 Montem completed a concept study, known as a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) to guide the strategic development of this potentially large-scale project. The PEA identified the most prospective areas for mine development at Chinook Vicary and Chinook South.

Crowsnest Pass
Along with its Tent Mountain tier two hard coking coal project, Chinook is situated in a “significant” steelmaking coal producing region.

The region exports about 25Mt annually to Asian steel mills.

Both Tent Mountain and Chinook were previously mined, and coal exported to Japan steel makers.

Montem noted its projects have rail access, port allocation plus water and power solutions.

The company’s strategy is to fast-track Tent Mountain into production to generate early cash flow while it firms up resources across Chinook.

Source: Small Caps