Natural Gas

TMK finds strong coal bodies in Mongolian Gobi Basin

Fri 29 Apr 22, 1:26pm (AEDT)
A scenic photograph of a vast field in Mongolia's interior with clouds hanging over distant mountains
Source: Unsplash

Key Points

  • Company has identified 44m thick coal seam comprised of 96% methane and 3% CO2 in maiden drill run
  • 44m seam forms part of upper level of coal bodies, 12m coal seam identified further downhole Snow Leopard-1 well
  • Methane the major constituent of natural gas, a promising sign for the Gurvantes XXXV CSG Project

TMK Energy (ASX:TMK) has discovered a 44m thick coal body onsite its Mongolian acreage in the South Gobi Basin at 400m depth comprising an average 96% methane and 3% CO2. 

The company made the find in its Snow Leopard-1 well. Further drilling downhole has identified a lower second level of coal seam at 12m; the drill run is currently at 630m total depth. 

The company is rolling ahead with the development of Snow Leopard-1, which targets geological formations in the Nariin Sukhait area of Ömnögovi Province—an area home to multiple established mining operations including foreign players. 

Greenfield acreage with neighbouring projects

It’s worth noting Rio Tinto runs its Oyu Tologi copper and gold mine some 200km to the east. The project has been in operation since 2013 in partnership with the Government of Mongolia; Turquoise Hill Resources originally commenced development of the site in 2010. 

TMK Energy chief executive Brendan Stats is confident the company is sitting on high-value CSG acreage. 

“It is an exciting time for the Gurvantes XXXV CSG Project as we [develop] a significant gas resource in an energy short region,” Stats said. 

“Drilling results [reflect] positive factors with respect to discovering a world class CSG project.” 

TMK Energy chief executive Brendan Stats onsite the project
TMK Energy chief executive Brendan Stats onsite the project

Strong compositional analysis results 

The company has had gas samples collected onsite from intercepted coal cores and sent to a laboratory in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar for chromatography testing. 

Results of the gas composition analysis reveal the coal seam gas onsite the Gurvantes Project is composed of between 94.4% and 98.8% methane (CH4), by far the major molecular constituent of natural gas itself—reflecting an average of 96% methane. 

Carbon dioxide values sit between 0.3% and 5.1%, averaging 3%. 

Mongolia an emerging region of interest 

The Australian government’s Austrade notes there are considerable benefits to doing business in Mongolia for domestic companies, including eligibility for exemption of custom duties when importing industrial equipment. 

Tax liabilities in the jurisdiction also allow companies to carry forward losses. 

TMK Energy is not the only Australian publicly listed company exploring for opportunities in the region—Elixir Energy (ASX:EXR) join TMK Energy in exploring for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) opportunities. 

It’s worth highlighting the new Chief Operations Officer (COO) for TMK is well established in the area with an existing background in the region.

The last six months of TMK's charts compared to the energy index
The last six months of TMK's charts compared to the energy index


Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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