Out of the 26 new licenses, seven form part of the Flatbed property and the remaining 19 licenses covering 16,426 hectares are added to the 13 existing licenses of the Huguenot property.

Covering 9,077 hectares, the Flatbed licenses include the three main targets identified by Colonial Coal’s geological consultant earlier this year.

The licenses for Huguenot property cover potential down-dip extensions to resources previously defined and reported and resource potential east of the currently defined deposit.

MEM is currently working to issue Work Permit to Colonial Coal to commence exploration activities on the Flatbed property; however, a timeline for the approval was not announced.

In 2013, a preliminary economic assessment was carried out at the Huguenot property. Measured and indicated coal resources totaled 277.7 million tons with Inferred resources of 119.2 million tons.

Colonial Coal president and CEO David Austin said: "These new coal licenses are among the largest blocks to be issued in the last five years in northeast B.C. and are a good news coal story in this current short-term down cycle."

"Colonial’s staff will now focus on the review and development of potential exploration plans related to these new licenses while we await a decision from MEM on the pending Work Permit for Flatbed," added Austin.

"Colonial continues to be committed to work with local First Nations, communities and stakeholders to seek their input and guidance with respect to our exploration and development of these properties."