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Riversdale ups coal resources at Benga in Mozambique to 1.9 bn tonnes

Riversdale Mining Limited has registered a huge increase in its coal resources at the Benga License, which it holds jointly with India’s Tata Steel. The resource increase comes at a time when the dirty commodity is zooming in prices.

With coal attracting unprecedentedly high prices on the international market following a tight supply against high demand, Riversdale Mining Limited has announced that the company's coal resource at the Benga License in Mozambique's Tete Province has been upped by 58 percent and now stands at 1.94 billion tonnes.

In tonnage, the increase translates into 700 million tonnes and follows on from a drilling exercise the company undertook from November 2007. The company said today out of the 1.9 billion tonnes, 1,070 million tonnes is less than 300 metres deep and is likely to be amenable to open cut mining.

Initial washability analysis from the project also indicates that after beneficiation, the company could export hard coking coal at 10 percent ash. In addition, it could produce a secondary product consisting of an export thermal coal at approximately 20 percent ash and a domestic thermal coal at approximately 35 percent ash.

The Benga license is a joint venture project between Riversdale and India's steel giant, Tata Steel. The Indian company formalized the deal earlier this year with a payment of $A100 million for a 35 percent stake in the project and also secured a 40 percent offtake of coking coal from the project.

Riversdale Chairman Michael O'Keeffe says the size and the nature of the coal resource are having a material impact on the company's business and that of their JV partner. He says the JV is perfectly positioned to develop the Benga portfolio.

"We are perfectly positioned to exploit the potential of this region," says O'Keeffe. "The Moatize [coal field] is world-class. Riversdale previously confirmed a coal resource that justified it moving to the next level of project feasibility, and this expansion of the coal resource underlines that position."

Riversdale expects to complete a bankable feasibility study of the Benga project by end of this year after completing coring and analysis program to boost the resource JORC-compliant measured and indicated categories.

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