Atrum reports outstanding results from drilling at Elan

by Leena Thomas
Image: Atrum Coal Ltd

Atrum Coal Ltd (ASX: ATU) has announced a positive update on drilling at its Elan Hard Coking Coal Project in southern Alberta, Canada.

The company reported that drilling activities at Elan South have progressed significantly with 50 drill holes now completed at Oil Pad Ridge and South East Corner areas.

The company announced that outstanding initial results from South East Corner shows significant coal intercepts in all holes and from shallow depths. ATU said that the access road construction also exposed thick, shallow coal seams in road cuttings and trenches

Atrum noted that while early stage, South East Corner is now a significant new discovery within Elan South with shallow, low-strip mining potential.

The company said that the drilling will continue at South East Corner and the north end of the Oil Pad trend to further delineate coal deposition extent and continuity in Elan South areas.

The company announced that the Elan dual-area strategy in action with drilling at Isolation South is set to commence in the next two weeks.

Atrum reported that the maiden resource estimate for South East Corner is expected later this year with Elan South update.

Elan Hard Coking coal project

Atrum Coal’s 100%-owned Elan Hard Coking Coal Project is located in southern Alberta, Canada.

Elan hosts large-scale, shallow, thick, hard coking coal (HCC) deposits with a current JORC Resource Estimate of 298 Mt. The quality testing of Elan South coal samples been confirmed them to be Tier 1 HCC quality.

2019 field program at Elan project

Atrum had announced the commencement of 2019 field program at Elan project. The majority of the planned 20,000m drilling in 2019 is devoted to the flagship Elan South development area, while extensional and infill drilling is planned for the Isolation South area, which is part of the Elan North tenements.

The company said that the focus will be in expanding and upgrading the classification of the existing resource to support a development PreFeasibility Study to be completed by the second half of 2020.

The company reported that the initial drilling at Elan South has focussed on the western side of the Oil Pad Ridge area.

Atrum has now provided an update on drilling progress at its Elan Hard Coking Coal Project.

Drilling at Elan South

The company reported that the drilling activities at Elan South are progressing strongly with a total of 50 drill holes of the 2019 field program completed so far.

ATU said that two rigs are currently running in parallel on the South East Corner area of Elan South. Following completion of further holes, the company said that the drilling activity is set to shift to the northern end of the Oil Pad Ridge trend and the Fish Hook area in coming weeks.

The company said that the coring program for further detailed coal quality and washability testwork for Elan South is also set to commence in the next week, with the initial focus being on the South East Corner area.

It may be noted that on January 2019, Atrum had reported an Exploration Target Range of 30 – 120 Mt for the eastern Elan South area.

Excellent results reported at Elan South

Atrum said that results have now been processed for 41 of the 50 drill holes (Holes 8 to 41) completed to date at Elan South. The holes 8 to 17 were drilled at the northern end of Oil Pad Ridge, while holes 18 to 41 were drilled at the South East Corner prospect.

The company reported that coal deposition was intercepted in all but one of the holes at the northern end of Oil Pad Ridge. Atrum said that holes 14 and 17 tested the anticline feature and returned cumulative coal thicknesses of 19.9m and 12.1m respectively with thick, shallow coal seams intersected in both holes.

The company also tested an area further to the east (Holes 10-12 and 16), confirming that the Mist Mountain coal seams extend into a syncline area where the coal seams occur at greater depths.

The company reported excellent initial results from South East Corner area of Elan South. It may be noted that the road construction activities in South East Corner this year had already exposed thick outcropping and shallow coal deposition in multiple places.

Atrum said that multiple coal seams were intersected in all 24 holes with numerous shallow intercepts. Cumulative apparent coal seam thicknesses range from 5.2 metres to a maximum of 35.5 metres.

The company said that drilling will continue at South East Corner and the north end of the Oil Pad trend to further delineate coal deposition extent and continuity in Elan South areas.

Resource update to include South East Corner area

The company reported that the drilling success at South East Corner has yielded a new and potentially significant resource zone at Elan South. More holes are being drilled to assist in delineating the extent and continuity of the coal deposition in this area.

Atrum said that South East Corner is now a significant new discovery within Elan South with shallow, low-strip mining potential.

The company announced that it plans to incorporate a maiden resource estimate for the South East Corner area in its overall resource estimate update for Elan South later this year.

Future plans

The company announced that the drilling of percussion (air-blast) structure holes will be continued in 2019, with up to 20,000m to be completed.

Atrum said that cored boreholes will be drilled in 2019 with around 20 cored boreholes planned. The company said that the cores will be subjected to detailed raw quality sizing and washability test work, including comprehensive testing of clean coal composites and coke strength testing.

The company said that the Elan dual-area strategy is now in action with drilling at Isolation South (Elan North) set to commence in the next two weeks.

ATU also reported that palaris has commenced with updating 3D geological models of Elan South.

Management comments

Atrum’s Managing Director Max Wang said: “We are very pleased to have established access and drilled a number of holes into the highly anticipated South East Corner area.

The initial results have certainly validated our excitement about this prospective zone of Elan South. Significant coal intercepts in all initial 24 holes drilled and processed at South East Corner, with a number showing deposition starting from near the surface, have highlighted the considerable, shallow resource potential that exists.

We currently have two rigs operating in parallel at South East Corner to further delineate the coal deposition in this area.

An initial resource for South East Corner is expected to be incorporated into an overall update of the Elan South resource estimate later this year.”