Perth, Australia —- MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 April 2008 – Australian and Botswana-listed energy company Aviva Corporation Limited has commenced a US$3 million (R24 million) reserve upgrade drilling programme at its 1.3 billion-tonne Mmamantswe coal project in Botswana.
Two drill rigs have been mobilised on site for a 16 600m drilling programme designed to upgrade 50% of the deposit to measured resources. The drilling campaign is expected to be completed by the end of August, with final coal quality test results expected by the end of October.
In February, Aviva announced that it had doubled its initial 600Mt target at Mmamantswe, where the company is investigating the merit of a 1 500MW power station.
Aviva managing director Lindsay Reed says the resource estimate affirmed the project as a very low strip-ratio open-pit thermal coal deposit.
“The resource base has the potential to supply 6 Mtpa to both a 1 500MW power project and/or direct coal sales to the power sector in South Africa,” he adds. “Aviva is now focused on advancing the project through drilling to deliver a significant resource upgrade.”
Rock & Stock have been retained to project-manage the drill programme, and will provide geological and logistical management. Drilling services will be provided by Quartz Drilling (RC) and Geosearch (Diamond) from South Africa, and coal quality and washability analysis will be completed at the Witlab facility in Witbank, South Africa.
Aviva expects to appoint coal preparation and mining consultants in the near future, providing the necessary economic parameters to allow the Mmamantswe resource to be upgraded to proven and probable reserves.