The program of 11 rotary and spot core holes will focus on improving coal quality information as well as identifying general structural trends, features and domains.
Importantly, it will enable the company to collect coal core from the high-value SM7 and SM5/SM6 seams.
After completing access roads, bridges and initial drill pads, the drill rig arrived on site and has started the reverse circulation drilling and 3‐inch coring.
PAK chairman Geoff Hill said: “We are extremely pleased with activities at site.
“So far, pre‐drilling construction works have been carried with no lost time injuries and minimal impact on the environment.
“Commencement of drilling is another important milestone for the project and our company.”
Drilling started on the north-western licence area and will continue using two 12-hour shifts on a seven days a week basis.
The program and resulting remediation activities are scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.
Remodelling of historical information along with its own work has enabled PAK to define an initial JORC 2012-compliant resource of 257 million tonnes at Elko.
In securing the Elko project, PAK gained one of the last unpegged coal areas in the East Kootenay Basin, which is one of the world’s premier coking coal basins.
Hill said: “We remain focused on completing this important phase of Elko’s development, which if successful will further enhance the value of the Elko project for our shareholders.
“At the same time, we take our responsibility to all stakeholders seriously.
“We will continue to strive to deliver the exploration program, on time and within budget, whilst ensuring a safe working environment and minimising our impact on the environment.”
Although on-site weather conditions remain favourable, wildfires have been reported in the area but these have not impacted PAK’s activities.
The company’s on-ground management team is monitoring the situation and keeping in constant contact.