The Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) between Aspire Mining and Noble Group has received an initial resource report for the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia. The project contains 12.85 million tonnes of coal with 4.7 million tonnes in the indicated category and the remainder in the inferred category.
The report was prepared in accordance with the JORC 2012 code by McElroy Bryan Geological Services. It incorporated work completed in the 2015 and 2015 exploration programs at Nuurstei.
The ECJV has a 90% interest in the project with Aspire and Noble both holding 50% of the JV. Aspire has an option to purchase Noble’s interest.
The washed coal quality at Nuurstei has been confirmed as high quality coking coal and washability test work on samples indicated moderate theoretical yields of 57% to a product with a 10% ash on an air dried basis.
The ECJV has commenced the process to convert the exploration licence covering the site to a mining licence which will maintain tenure for a minimum of 30 years.
Further areas have also been identified with potential to expand resources. The timing of any future work is tied to possible development of the Northern Railway.
The Nuurstei project is 10km south of the Khuvsgul provincial capital of Moron and is in close proximity to a sealed road connecting to the east to Erdenet city and connection to the Trans Mongolian Railway. The project is also well placed to be an early user of the proposed Northern Railway project which will extend rail from Erdenet to Aspire’s Ovoot Coking Coal Project and then further northwest to the Russian city of Kyzyl.
Nuurstei is viewed as a low capital cost starter project to operate in conjunction with the much larger Ovoot project which is 160km further to the west.
Aspire’s managing director David Paull says, “While tonnages falling into the JORC resource categories are modest, the Nuurstei project presents as a commercial scale pilot project for logistics and market development for Ovoot and other coking coals from northern Mongolia.
“It can also provide commercial scale rail freight cargos onto the Northern Railway to iron out logistical teething problems before the much larger volumes from the Ovoot project need to be dealt with.”