Prairie Downs Metals will move ahead to commence production at its Lublin Coal Project (LCP) in Poland after a geotechnical review by Golder Associates concluded the potential for deployment of low-cost longwall mining technique.

The Australian mineral exploration firm appointed Golder to complete a desktop review of the geology of the Lublin Coal Basin (LCB) and evaluate the possibility of roof bolting as a mine development option for the project.

The technique has been a standard practice in Australian, US and the UK underground coal mines, and it offers various advantages, including lower operating and capital costs, higher productivity rates, lower manning levels within the mine and improved safety.

Prairie Downs Metals CEO Ben Stoikovich said, "The results of this review will now be incorporated into proposed mine design alternatives in the Scoping Study, which is intended to showcase the world class potential for a new generation of coal mines in the Lublin Coal Basin with Prairie developing one of the most advanced and prospective regional exploration projects."

Roof bolting is permitted under existing Polish coal mining regulations, and it is already in practice in Polish coal mines, typically as a means of secondary roof support.

Preliminary indications are that the implementation of roof bolting in Polish coal mining could substantially lower both labor and material costs.

Prairie is currently working on a Scoping Study for the LCP and is exploring various mine design alternatives, including modern international and traditional Polish mining practises.