Cardero Resource Corp.

Cardero Resource Corp.

August 15, 2013 08:00 ET

Cardero Provides Update on Metallurgical Coal Quality at the Carbon Creek Deposit, Northeast British Columbia

Wood Mackenzie Completes Positive Project Benchmarking Study

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 15, 2013) - Cardero Resource Corp. ("Cardero" or the "Company") (TSX:CDU)(NYSE MKT:CDY)(FRANKFURT:CR5) is pleased to provide an update on coal quality results from the Company's flagship Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal deposit. Cardero has completed 42,000 metres of drilling and coal quality sampling over the past 24 months. Compilation and analysis of the extensive coal quality database has been completed. Simulated product specifications have been completed and supplied to Wood Mackenzie who completed a comprehensive benchmarking study (the "Study"), examining how Carbon Creek metallurgical coal products fit into the existing global seaborne metallurgical coal market. The results of Wood Mackenzie's analysis are positive, as outlined below.

Highlights of Wood Mackenzie Benchmarking

Based on the coal quality data supplied to Wood Mackenzie by Cardero, the following conclusions from the Study are particularly relevant:

  • Both the Hard Coking Coal ("HCC") and Semi-Soft Coking Coal ("SSCC") are close to benchmark specification. Indicative metallurgical product coal quality is positive. (Figure 1).
  • Carbon Creek's HCC will be marketed as a Mid-Volatile ("mid-Vol") HCC, based on average Volatile Matter ("VM") content of 27%, Coke Strength after Reaction ("CSR") of 60 to 65 and Rank of 1.1% RoVmax.
  • Overall, project fundamentals are positive. In particular, ash contents are low, which is a very desirable characteristic for blending coals.
  • Carbon Creek's PFS predicted an operating cost of $110/t, which in nominal dollars (taking account for inflation) is predicted to be $116/t in 2016. This places Carbon Creek in the upper half but close to mid-way in the global cost curve (Figure 2) at the 46th percentile.

As part of the Study, Wood Mackenzie also provides insight into the global metallurgical coal market and expected trends during construction and operation of the proposed Carbon Creek Mine:

  • Annual HCC demand is forecast to rise from a 2012 level of 150 million tonnes ("Mt") to 230Mt in 2030.
  • Currently the metallurgical market as a whole is seeing a slight oversupply, but additional mines need to come online by 2022 to address expected future supply shortfalls.
  • Quarterly pricing for HCC has dipped below marginal production cost, reaching the 90th percentile on the global cost curve, and prices are expected to bottom during Q3 2013.
  • An average price (2012 dollars) of $180/t is expected in the period 2014 to 2020. This is in line with Cardero's assumed baseline prices used in the Company's 2012 Prefeasibility Study.
  • In Wood Mackenzie's analysis, pricing is forecast to increase through the proposed production period. Prices beyond 2020 are expected to respond to higher production costs and will reach $225/t by 2030 (2012 dollars).
  • Future trends in export metallurgical coal quality will be influenced by the finite nature of high quality metallurgical coal deposits. In the coming years, exported metallurgical coal quality will likely increase in ash content (up to an estimated 10% to 12%), resulting in lower quality products, particularly with respect to key FSI and CSR. The most notable feature of the Carbon Creek coals is a low ash, with HCC washing to 4.0% to 6.0% ash content.

Carbon Creek Summary Product Coal Quality

The Company's 2012 Prefeasibility Study ("PFS") outlined the expected coal quality based on coal quality data available at the time. An additional 23,000 metres of exploration drilling was completed in late 2012 and results of coal quality analysis received during 2013. This data has allowed the ranges of product specifications to be narrowed considerably. Current understanding of expected coal quality is outlined in Table 1. The deposit is expected to produce two primary metallurgical products, being a medium-volatile Hard Coking Coal ("HCC") and a flex product, being marketed as a Semi-Soft Coking Coal ("SSCC") or as a metallurgical PCI, depending on prevailing market conditions and marketing contracts. A small proportion of the near-surface deposit will be oxidized and marketed as a premium thermal coal.

Table 1: Comparison of Prefeasibility and Current Product Specification for Carbon Creek Coals.

Prefeasibility 2012 Current 2013
Ash % 5.5 - 7.0 2.5 - 5.5 4.0- 6.0 4.0- 6.0
Sulphur % <0.90 0.85 0.70 1.0
Volatile Matter % 20 - 30 26 - 30 25 - 27 28- 30
Fixed Carbon % 65 - 70 66 - 74 66 - 70 63 - 67
Calorific Value (Kcal/kg) 7,600 - 8,000 7,600 - 8,000 7,900- 8,300 7,600- 8,000
Free Swelling Index (FSI) 6.0 - 7.0 2.0 - 4.0 6.0- 7.0 2.0- 4.0
Coke Strength After Reaction (CSR) - - 60 - 68 in progress

Overview of Coal Quality Work Completed

Work completed by Cardero in the last two years has fundamentally altered the understanding of coal quality at Carbon Creek. Limited historical exploration was carried out by Utah Mines ("Utah") over an 11 year period. From this historical work, 220 drill holes averaging 100 meters in depth are included in the project database. In contrast, Cardero's 146 drill holes average 300 meters in depth (totaling 42,000 meters). Cardero's modern analysis comprises 86% of the coal quality results in the project database.

Coal quality was underestimated by historical work. Utah's predominantly shallow drilling meant that coal samples were frequently taken from near-surface, where surface water ingress artificially degrades coal quality - HCC coals at surface can be oxidized and return poor results from the laboratory.

Coal seams at Carbon Creek can be divided into a Lower Seam Package hosting HCC and an Upper Seam Package hosting SSCC /PCI. The Utah portion of the database only contains 47 samples from the lower package of seams, which hosts the hard coking coal and many of these samples were taken at depths less than 50 meters from surface. In contrast, Cardero has analyzed 425 samples from the lower package of hard coking coals and at depths where coal quality is not compromised by surface waters and weathering.

Cardero's work has demonstrated that approximately 60% of the deposit contains HCC and 35% contains SSCC / PCI.

Figures 1 and 2 are available at the following address:


Wood Mackenzie is the most comprehensive source of knowledge about the world's energy and metals industries. We analyze and advise on every stage along the value chain - from discovery to delivery, and beyond - to provide clients with the commercial insight that makes them stronger. With around 900 professionals in over 23 offices worldwide, we analyze the assets, markets and companies operating upstream and downstream; in oil, gas, coal, carbon, metals and power generation. Our expertise gives our clients confidence - the confidence to define their strategy, identify new opportunities, evaluate the markets they operate in and improve their performance against peers.

About Carbon Creek

The Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Deposit is the Company's flagship asset. Carbon Creek is an advanced metallurgical coal development project located in the Peace River Coal District of northeast British Columbia, Canada. The project has a current reserve of 121 million tonnes, included within a 468 million tonne measured and indicated resource, of ASTM Coal Rank mvB coal. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and there is no assurance that any of the additional mineral resources that are not already classified as reserves will ultimately be reclassified as proven or probable reserves. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Having completed acquisition of the project in June 2011, the Company released results of an independent preliminary economic assessment in December 2011, followed by a Prefeasibility Study ("PFS") in September 2012. The PFS estimates an undiscounted cash flow of $2.2 billion, an NPV8 of $633 million, and an IRR of 24% (all on a post-tax, 75% basis).

For details with respect to the work done to date and the assumptions underlying the current resource and reserve estimates and prefeasibility study, see the technical report entitled "Technical Report, Prefeasibility Study of the Carbon Creek Coal Property, British Columbia, Canada" dated November 6, 2012 with an effective date of September 20, 2012 and available under the Company's profile at

EurGeol Keith Henderson, PGeo, Cardero's Executive Vice President and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for the technical disclosure this news release, and has approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Henderson is not independent of the Company, as he is an officer and shareholder.


The common shares of the Company are currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol CDU), the NYSE-MKT (symbol CDY) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (symbol CR5). For further details on the Company readers are referred to the Company's web site (, Canadian regulatory filings on SEDAR at and United States regulatory filings on EDGAR at

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of CARDERO RESOURCE CORP.

Hendrik van Alphen, CEO and President

The Cautionary Statements is available at following address:


Contact Information

  • Cardero Resource Corp.
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