A COMPANY partly owned by billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has announced a coal deposit it is exploring near Bundaberg is a third bigger than previously thought.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) International Coal said drilling operations had shown the deposit would yield 37.9 million tonnes.
That is up from the 28.5 million tonnes the company announced nine months ago.
The company also said the seams were sampled and found to have hard coal coking characteristics comparable to hard coking coal mines in the Bowen Basin.
Company CEO Glenn Simpson said the joint venture continued to receive good results from the Bundaberg Project.
"We look forward to developing a program for further refining our understanding of the resource, its size and continuity," he said.
International Coal told the ASX in February its drilling results near Bundaberg had shown the deposits were extremely high-quality coking coal.
Mr Simpson said the Bundaberg Project remained a key project for the company and the board and management intended to progress its development as a matter of priority.
The value of the coking coal resource near Bundaberg is likely to be in the billions of dollars.
International Coal told the ASX it holds title to three tenures in south-east Queensland which held the potential for coal resources.
The Bundaberg Project covered an area of about 24.9 sq km.
The company plans to increase its exploration activity south of the Kolan River next year.
Mrs Rinehart earned the right earlier this year to acquire a 25% stake in the Bundaberg Project.
She has an agreement under which she can eventually acquire up to 51% of the project. The joint venture is one of several into which Mrs Rinehart has entered in Queensland in the past two years.