New $2m drilling program for Altona
London-based Altona Resources plc will next month commence a $2 million drilling program on its Arckaringa coal deposit in South Australia’s far north.Coal-to-liquids and power cogeneration projects are the centrepiece of Altona’s current feasibility study on the vast Arckaringa deposits. “The scheduling of this drilling programme is an important step in the feasibility study and enables the company to define a JORC-compliant resource to underpin the Arckaringa Project,” Chairman of AIM-listed Altona, Chris Lambert, said. “The drilling will provide valuable information for the preparation of the JORC compliant resource estimate and a 5 tonne bulk coal sample for process testing,” Mr Lambert said. “As soon as this program and the associated coal technical assessments are completed, we will be in a strong position to commercialise the Project,” he said.Altona’s drilling programme focuses on an optimum area within the Wintinna Deposit for extraction of coal by open-cut mining methods to supply the proposed coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant.The program will validate and upgrade past exploration results to allow for the previously defined coal resource to be classified according to the current JORC code for reporting coal resources. A parallel program of geotechnical and hydro geological testing is also proposed to supplement the already comprehensive data available from past testing. The past drilling of the Wintinna Deposit has already defined a total resource of over 3.5 billion tonnes of coal. The new exploration program has been designed to allow for the classification of at least 700 million tonnes of coal from within the resource as Measured or Indicated according to the current JORC Code for reporting resources. The project feasibility study base case entails the supply of 10 Million tonnes of coal per annum to produce 10 Million Barrels of CTL products annually for up to 50 years, a total coal requirement of 500 Million tonnes over the project life.The Arckaringa Coal Project comprises the 100% interest in three exploration licences in South Australia, which have previously been calculated as a JORC compliant resource of over 7 billion tonnes of sub bituminous Permian coal, amenable to open pit mining, and suitable as fuel for power generation and potential application of coal to oil technology.