Blackwood Corporation (ASX: BWD) has found success with its third quarter exploration programs, following a strategic operating review that resulted in an expanded executive management team.
Blackwood holds 49 coal exploration permits, representing 5800 square kilometres, across all key Queensland coal-bearing basins, Galilee, Bowen, Surat and Clarence Morton, representing one of the largest tenure portfolios in the state.
Exploration drilling at Blackwood’s South Pentland project in the Galilee Basin has identified three potential working sections in more than 10 seam intersections and four coal seam groups, with a cumulative coal thickness of 10-15 metres.
Blackwood is targeting the coal seams of the Permian Betts creek beds, the main coal bearing sequence through the Galilee Basin which have potential for significant quantities of export coal.
South Pentland is strategically located in the northeast of the Galilee Basin, placing it at less than 250 kilometres to the coast. Major roads and railway already exist adjacent to the northern edge of the tenure, making it well placed from a transport infrastructure perspective.
At Blackwood’s Rolleston North project in the Bowen Basin, a prospective shallow coal target has been identified, a 1.92 metre seam at 82 metres depth, with four drill holes completed and 940 square kilometres of tenure in application.
Drilling at Rolleston North is targeting the eastern limb of the sub-cropping Rangal Coal Measures, located just north of Xstrata’s (LON: XTA) 5 million tonnes per annum Rolleston mine and known to contain vast quantities of low ash, export quality thermal coal.
The exploration results confirmed Blackwood’s reinterpretation of the regional geology in this area.
Blackwood’s exploration programs in Rolleston North have now shifted to the western limb of the anticline (westerly dipping shallow coal targets) to refine subcrop location, understand target depth and coal thickness.
Importantly, coal seams are known to thicken, join and also split again, over small distances within this region. This has resulted in single seams up to 9 metres being present in the nearby leases, and further justifies continued exploration in this area.
Current exploration efforts will finish in Rolleston in November 2011, before the rig is deployed further north to other Blackwood key projects.
Blackwood is also progressing land access programs on other projects, namely Taroom, Bymount, Chinchilla, North Carmichael and North Hughenden.
Advanced planning is underway to allow a number of project options to be drilled over the wet season and throughout 2012.
Blackwood secured and commissioned a third drilling rig during September to increase its exploration efforts.