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Nigeria yet to transform 2.8bn metric tonnes of coal in 17 fields into wealth

By Gabriel Ewepu

A  STUDY by Behre Dolbear & Company (USA), Inc. subdivided the  areas of coal deposits in the country, which include the Anambra Coal Basin; this basin was into seven coal mining districts, out of which three of the basins have been explored to an appreciable level, and they are the Kogi, Benue and Enugu Coal Districts and they further have two or more coal resource centres.

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The Kogi Coal District holds an area of 225,000 hectares of the Anambra Coal Basin, and it lies on the north-eastern side of the basin. Two areas within the district have been explored to a limited degree. In the northern part of it, Ogboyoga, drill data, has it that there are 27 holes, which have been drilled and cored and 15 separate measurements have been taken of outcrops of the main coal seam in stream drainages.

Following the study of Behre Dolbear, which used the guidelines of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves was used to delineate a total of 123 million metric tonnes of coal underling an estimated 8,900 hectares, and according to it an additional 165 million tonnes of coal classed as non-reportable resource by the JORC Code definitions may lie in Ogboyoga area, with a coal thickness of about two metres. Apart from the Ogboyoga area another area is Okaba, where 17 core holes have been drilled, all of which intersected the main coal stream. It has a total of 100 million tonnes of demonstrated coal (JORC) have been estimated to underlie 2,770 hectares in the Okaba area and an additional 435 million tonnes of non-reportable coal resource are projected to the west of existing drilling.

In total the Kogi District is estimated to have a demonstrated coal resource of 223 million tonnes averaging 3.6 metres thick, which underlies 8,900 hectares (4%) of the district. The total non-reportable resources by JORC Code are 600 million tonnes. The Benue Coal District, covers 175,000 hectares of the coal basin, is located south of the Kogi District along the eastern outcrop of the Anambra Basin, and has two areas. One of the two areas under the district is Orukpa, with 11 drill holes.

There are six coal outcroppings that have been measured. According to the available data, Behre Dolbear estimated that the area of coal resource has 81 million tonnes along the outcrop. Another 117 million tonnes of non-reportable coal, as defined by the JORC Code, projected to exist west of the existing drilling. The average coal thickness is 3.1 metres.

In the south of Orukpa is the Ezimo area. This area has four drill holes penetrating the main coal stream. 10 coal outcroppings have also been measured, not all of which have exposed the entire seam with a total of 43 million tonnes of demonstrated coal resource have been projected for the Ezimo area.

With an additional 263 million tonnes of non-reportable coal resource is projected to exist west of the existing drilling. The average coal thickness in this area is also 3.1 metres.

According to the report, the Benue District, comprising Orukpa and Ezimo has an estimated coal resource of 124 million tonnes, which underlies 4,700 hectares (3%) of the district. The total non-reportable resources, based on JORC Code, are 380 million tonnes.

Another reputable coal hub in the nation’s mining sector is the Enugu Coal District, whose coverage is estimated to be 270,000 hectares of the coal basin, and majorly centred around Enugu City, in south of the Benue District.

It is the largest amount of commercial mining operations in the past. It has two underground mines, with a total of 36 drill holes in the area. Research and studies stated that the coal resource in this prestigious mining area stands at 49 million averaging 2.2 metres thick, including  additional 111 million non-reportable of in place coal said to exist west of the old mine workings.


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