Aspiring coal producer Montem Resources (ASX: MR1) has boosted the resource for its Chinook project in Alberta to 172 million tonnes of coking coal.
The updated resource represents a 23Mt increase, with 108Mt now classified as indicated and 64Mt as inferred.
Chinook is made up of Chinook Vicary and Chinook South, with the resource covering Chinook Vicary.
Along with the updated resource, Montem has an exploration target for Chinook Vicary of an additional 125-450Mt.
Montem managing director and chief executive officer Peter Doyle said the company was “very pleased with the significant increase” to resources at Chinook.
“This upgrade of the resource is the result of new information from 2020 exploration, which led to a re-interpretation of the geological model for Chinook.”
“The combined 172Mt of indicated and inferred resources at Chinook confirm that the project holds substantial hard coking coal resources.”
He added the results validate the company strategy of developing an open cut premium hard coking coal operation at Chinook.
‘Excellent’ coal quality results
The updated resource and exploration target for Chinook build on test work undertaken last year using samples from the drilling program.
Mr Doyle said the results from this test work detailed “excellent coal quality” and add to the project’s positive scoping study that was completed earlier this year.
Testing showed Chinook Vicary ore fits “precisely” in the specification range to be sold as premium low vol hard coking coal.
“The next step is to drill out the remaining areas included in the scoping study mine plan and progress to a pre-feasibility study,” Mr Doyle explained.
“As the entire Chinook project lies within Alberta 1976 coal development policy Category 4 land, we are able to continue exploration and project planning,” he added.
Alberta coal assets
Montem’s Chinook project is situated within Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass in Canada and is only 30km from Teck Resources’ operations in the Elk Valley where it produces 25Mt a year of hard coking coal for the steel industry.
As well as Chinook, Montem is progressing the Tent Mountain mine re-start project. Earlier in the June quarter, the Alberta Energy Regulator published the final terms of reference for the Tent Mountain environmental impact assessment.
This is a key step in the Alberta Provincial permitting process with most of the terms consistent with the company’s expectations.
Tent Mountain has 60Mt of coking coal resources and 22Mt of run of mine reserves with 13.1Mt in estimated reserve product.
Montem plans to ship its first coal from Tent Mountain in 2023 and will produce about 1.1Mtpa of coking coal for 14 years.