AMERICAN POWER has received approval of a prospecting permit for its Pace coal project in Montana, US, from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

With the receipt of the permit no. X2011335, the firm will carry out the first phase of its drilling programme.

The exploration drilling programme will consist of 61 drilling sites and will involve 53,875ft of drilling in three different phases.

13 drilling locations will be included in the first phase of the programme, while the second and third phases consist of a total of nine and 39 drilling locations respectively.

The exploration programme will provide information relative to coal seam thickness, depth of cover, expected top and bottom conditions and coal quality.

American Power CEO Al Valencia said that additional drilling sites in subsequent phases would be added to the permit by application to the Montana DEQ.