Sunbird has received an independent certification of 644 Bcf 2C contingent resource for Mopane Coal Bed methane project in South Africa.

The independent resource assessment was undertaken by MHA Petroleum Consultants LLC, Denver, Colorado. In estimating the contingent resources, MHA reviewed all available drilling and coal data associated with the initial drilling campaign in the east of the Mopane licence. The initial assessment area covers approximately 124 km2 (or less than 10%) of the total 1,577 km2 licence area. Exploration drilling in Mopane continues in the central area of the licence with additional results expected before the end of 2013.

Sunbird Managing Director, Will Barker, commented on the results of the resource assessment: “The booking of our maiden contingent resource for the Mopane Project is an important milestone in progressing the development of our CBM portfolio towards the supply of gas and power to the high value South African energy market.

“With a 2C resource of 644 Bcf from our initial drilling in the eastern section of the licence., and its location on the national power transmission grid, Mopane has the potential for development as a large scale power project. Independent verification of the recoverable gas volumes provides Sunbird with the confidence to move forward with our partners into pilot production testing in 2014.”

The Mopane CBM Project covers a licence area of 1,577km2 and is located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, 420km northeast of Johannesburg. Lying on the western limit of the Tshipise Coalfield, the project is traversed by major electricity transmission lines that form part of the Southern African Power Pool and is also close to major local mining and mineral processing facilities.

Sunbird holds a 74% interest in the Mopane CBM Project and the Company’s strategic partner in South Africa, Umbono Capital Partners, an established Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) group, holds the remaining 26% interest. Umbono is experienced in the development of natural resources in South Africa.

Corehole drilling is continuing in the Mopane project area to expand the resource base and assist with the planning of the initial pilot production program in 2014. The aim of the pilot production is to determine gas flow rates and prove the commercial viability of the project. This will enable Sunbird to book gas reserves and accelerate the opportunity for development of power generation at Mopane for supply into the national power network.

The Mopane project area is considered favourable for the occurrence of CBM due to the presence of a thick and significant coal formation at depths suitable for CBM development and preservation. The project area is fault-bounded in the north and south by major east-northeast to west-southwest trending faults. The Karoo Supergroup has been preserved in graben structures controlled by these faults. The coal zone comprises composite coal seams over a vertical thickness of approximately 120m There is also an extensive development of carbonaceous shales in the intervals in these sequences.

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