Aspire Mining has started its 2011 exploration program at the Ovoot Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia. The initial drill rig is infill drilling an appropriate site to establish a direct ship ore (DSO) operating open pit.
A second drilling rig will be mobilized by the end of March to target the resource extension drilling targets presented by the recently completed 2-D seismic programs.
Aspire has received additional coal quality data relating to the Ovoot project's 2010 resource drilling program.
It has now received two batches comprising 124 samples or 36% of the total samples to be received and the combined results for the two batches continue to demonstrate a very high theoretical yield of 87% to produce a simulated product with 7.7% ash content and a CSN of 8.7. There is no thermal coal fraction.
Coal washability test work involves float/sink tests and froth flotation using a specific gravity cut off of 1.6. With such low ash results it is likely that not all of the raw coal will need to be washed to produce a high quality blended product.
Aspire in 2010 announced a maiden 330 million tonne resource, comprising 93.3 million measured tonnes, 182.4 million indicated and 55 million inferred. Aspire is currently targeting resource upgrades at Ovoot, as well as progressing development of key infrastructure including access to rail.
Meanwhile, Aspire has been notified that commodity trading house Noble Group has agreed to acquire a further 18 million shares in Aspire from Mongolian shareholders representing the vendors of the Ovoot project.
The share sale represents 3.36% of the current issued capital of the company, which gives Noble an 8.6% undiluted interest in the company.
The block of 18 million shares subject to sale by the Mongolian vendors to Noble represents just 10% of the vendors' holdings. Aspire looks forward to continuing its good relationship with the vendors and has received confirmation from the Mongolian vendors that they do not intend to sell additional shares at this time.