Dual-listed Prairie Mining expects to declare a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource estimate at its Debiensko hard coking coal project, in Poland, in the coming weeks, after it received the results of preliminary coal quality analysis from a borehole drilled at the project.
The results at the project, which Prairie acquired in October 2016, confirmed historical data which indicate that Debienkso hosts a range of premium-quality hard coking coals comparable to internationally traded benchmark coking coals.
The company believes the coking coal will be in high demand from European steelmakers, with two premium hard coking coal specifications having been delineated – medium volatile matter hard coking coal and low volatile matter hard coking coal.
The borehole was fully cored to 30 m below seam 407/4. All core was subject to detailed logging and core photography and seam thicknesses and depths have been confirmed by a suite of geophysical logs, while coal seams were analysed by accredited laboratories in Poland.
Both Debiensko’s mid-vol and low-vol HCC lie within the range of premium hard coking coals produced globally. Indications are that the mid-vol HCC at Debiensko is present between 850 m to 1 000 m from surface, while the low-vol HCC is present 1 000 m to 1 300 m below surface – at depths similar to adjacent operating mines owned by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa – the largest coking coal producer in Europe.
European industry relies on imports for about 80% of its coking coal needs. In 2015, Europe consumed a total of 80-million tonnes of coking coal, of which 50-million tonnes was hard coking coal.
“Debiensko’s strategically competitive location means that about half of Central Europe’s coking plants and steelmaking capacity is within 250 km of the project and connected by existing road and rail infrastructure.
“With a well-established rail network providing ease of transport to end-users based close to Debiensko, Prairie will benefit from a significant pricing “netback” advantage over US and Australian imported hard coking coal,” the company said in a statement.