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GCM Resources plc has identified a world class coal resource of 572 million tonnes (JORC 2004 compliant) near the town of Phulbari in North West Bangladesh. The resource is made up of 60% high quality thermal coal, with low ash metallurgical coal, also known as semi-soft coking coal, making up 20%. The remaining thermal coal is also good quality and will have applications in industry and power generation. The coal seam thickness varies between 20 and 65 metres at depths between 165 and 270 metres and 99% of the open cut mining reserve is contained in two thick coal seams separated by a stone band that is typically 1-2 metres thick. The average strip ratio of 7.5 bcm per recoverable coal tonne is highly competitive. The drilling and gravity surveys suggest the basin remains open and extends further southward. Additional drilling will confirm the southern extent of the coal basin.

The coal will be extracted by the open cut mining method using trucks and hydraulic excavators as this is the safest and most efficient approach for the thick Phulbari coal seams and general geological conditions.  Open cut mining is an established mining method and will enable maximum extraction of the coal seams along with progressive land rehabilitation and restoration of agricultural activities.  In addition to coal, a variety of valuable industrial mineral co-products will be recovered from the overburden which is removed to expose the coal prior to excavation.

The coal will be used in domestic power generation (mine mouth and elsewhere) and in domestic industries such as clay brick and coal briquette production. Coal for the domestic market will be largely transported from Phulbari by rail. Coal that is surplus to domestic requirements will be transported to international markets by rail, river and sea. The Feasibility Study and Scheme of Development incorporated a full Social and Environmental Impact Assessment for the shipment of coal by rail to Khulna and then by barge/ship to other markets. The Feasibility Study also incorporated plans for rail track upgrades, a loading terminal at Khulna, navigation improvements to the Pussur River, a floating platform at Akram Point and channel dredging to the approach channel at the entrance of the Bay of Bengal.

Resource Statement


Measured 51 237     288
Indicated 62 124 39 19 244
Inferred 12 28     40
Total 125 389 39 19 572


Coal Quality – High Quality Thermal Coal

Typical Specification Market Preference Phulbari Hunter Valley
Specific energy (gross Kcal/kg) >6300 6930 6800
Total moisture (% as received) <15.0 8.5 9.0
Ash (%) <16.0 12.0 13.5
Fixed carbon (%) >45.0 54.2 50.5
Sulphur (%) <1.0 0.80 0.55

Coal Quality – Low Ash Metallurgical Coal

Typical Specification Market Preference Phulbari Hunter Valley
Specific energy (gross Kcal/kg) >6800 7420 7200
Total moisture (% as received) <12.0 10.0 9.0
Ash (%) <11.0 6.8 9.5
Fixed carbon (%) >50.0 56.7 54.2
Sulphur (%) <1.0 0.75 0.55