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Pre-feasibility Study for Coal Mine Methane Recovery and Utilization at Naryn Sukhait Mine

Pre-feasibility Study for Coal Mine Methane Recovery and Utilization at Naryn Sukhait Mine

With funding from USEPA, under the auspices of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), Raven Ridge Resources, Incorporated performed a prefeasibility study examining the potential for employing vertically drilled wells to capture methane gas prior to mining for use as fuel to generate power at the Naryn Sukhait open cast coal mine. The Naryn Sukhait coal mine is located in remote southwestern Mongolia in the Gurvantes district of Ömnögovi Province, just 57 kilometers north of the Mongolian – Chinese border. The Naryn Sukhait mine, owned by Mongolyn Alt (MAK) Corporation is bordered by the Ovoot Tolgoi Complex, operated by South Gobi Resources. These mines are situated in a foreland basin filled with Mesozoic coal bearing sediments. The rank of the coal is high volatile C bituminous rich in vitrinite macerals, causing this coal deposit to be a significant source of methane with a high potential for storing gas. Gas desorption testing demonstrated that gas is present in depths as shallow as 150m and will be released to the atmosphere as surface mining takes place unless a program for draining gas prior to mining is adopted by mine operators. The coal basin in which the Naryn Sukhait deposit is located is similar to the Raton Coal
basin located in the southwestern United States. Using information and data from this coalbed methane producing basin, Raven Ridge developed production profiles to forecast water and gas production and estimate the proposed pilot project could produce enough gas to fuel an 8.55 MW power generation facility. The capital costs are estimated to be $7.7 million USD with an IRR of 16.1 percent and a payback period of 6.75 years. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 187,900 tonnes over the project’s 15 year life.