EC Joint Venture

The Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) is a 50/50 venture between Aspire Mining and Singapore listed commodities trader Noble Group (SGX: N21, Noble) who each own an equal 50% interest.  Aspire became a party to the ECJV in mid-2014 and have an option to buy out Noble’s interest which expires in March 2016.

The ECJV is solely focussed on the identification, exploration and development of coal assets in Mongolia which fits neatly into Aspire’s regional and metallurgical coal strategy.

The ECJV currently holds interests in two exploration coal projects:

  • Nuurstei Coking Coal Project (90% interest), located in the Orkhon-Selenge coal Basin in northern Mongolia; and
  • Erdenebulag Coal Project (100%), located in the South Gobi region of southern Mongolia nearby operating coal mines.

A third licence (Kuren) is the subject of an exploration licence application and the ECJV is awaiting a decision from the relevant Mongolian authority.


The Nuurstei project is the ECJV portfolio’s most advanced exploration asset. Nuurstei comprises two tenement areas spanning across approximately 27 square kilometres. It is located approximately 10 km from Khuvsgul province capital of Moron and 160 km east of the Ovoot project.

A successful exploration programme was completed at Nuurstei in 2014 which comprised 17 non-core rotary holes, one (1) PQ diamond core drill hole, and seven (7) holes from a 2011 exploration programme were reopened and geophysically logged.

Work completed during 2014 confirmed coal continuity along a 1.2 kilometre strike on a northwest-to-southeast orientation with coal dipping an average 50 degrees to the south west. The area is faulted with a number of north-south faults crossing the deposit and exposing surface coal outcrops. In addition, a separate near surface coal deposit to the west of a major fault dips in a separate direction to the north and this will be further investigated in 2015.

Exploration drilling completed at Nuurstei during 2015

Coal quality analysis results including washability and coking testwork was completed as part of the 2014 exploration programme. Analysis was conducted on one core sample taken from PQ drillhole NUDH012. Results confirm a quality hard coking coal present at Nuurstei, with a high caking “G” index and low volatile matter. Additional work will be required to confirm these results are indicative of the entire project.

Indicative Washed Coal Specification
Nuurstei core sample assay results, air dried basis

Moisture % 0.4
Ash % 9.9
Volatile Matter % 23.8
Fixed Carbon % 65.9
Total Sulphur % 0.84
Phosphorus % 0.055
Free Swelling Index (FSI) 8.5
Caking Index (G) 94
Max Fluidity DDPM 1,874
Max Dilation % 188
RoMax % 1.27
Y Index 23

Nuurstei’s close proximity to existing infrastructure (town, road, rail and services) provides an excellent opportunity to assess the economics of a road based operation, prior to the completion of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway construction. Access to a paved road from Moron to Erdenet will be available in 2015 and land available to Aspire at Erdenet could be used as a coal stockpile and train load-out area.

Note: For details of the ECJV’s 2011 exploration programme conducted prior to Aspire’s acquisition of its 50% interest in the ECJV, please refer here for the details of the 2011 exploration programme.

Competent Persons Statement – Nuurstei Exploration Results

The information on this site that relates to Reporting of Exploration Results, is based on information compiled under the supervision of, and reviewed by, the Competent Person, Mr. Parbury, who is a full time employee of McElroy Bryan Geological Services, is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and who has no conflict of interest with Aspire Mining Limited.

The reporting of exploration results for 13580X presented on this site has been carried out in accordance with the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’, The JORC Code 2012 Edition prepared by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia (JORC). These results were reported to the ASX in an announcement dated 15 October 2014.

Mr. Parbury has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Parbury consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.


The Erdenebulag licenses are newly granted licences which are located in an area that hosts coal bearing Permian age sediments and nearby a number of existing coking coal mines and resources.

Erdenebulag sits approximately 170 kms to the north east of the Mongolian/Chinese Ceke Border approximately 200 km west of Mongolia’s largest coal project – Tavan Tolgoi.

Preliminary work on the licences will be undertaken during 2015 which will include surface mapping and sampling to enable drill hole identification to plan for a future exploration programme.

Location plan of South Gobi exploration licences