Hodges Resources has announced a 485% rise in resources compared to the previous maiden resources estimate at the Morupule South project in Botswana.

The company reported 2.3 billion tonnes of JORC (Joint Ore Reserves Committee) compliant inferred resources with the Morupule Main Seam representing 83% of the resource.

Hodges Resources managing director Mark Major said the material increase in the resource estimate, along with the project’s open cut potential, makes Morupule South an exciting prospect for shareholders.

"We have identified significant shallow thick coal seams and have the coal quality to support moving this project into the next stage of development," said Major.

The company said 1.2 billion tonnes is agreeable to open cut mining with indicative in situ coal and overburden ratios ranging from 1.7 to 2.7 in the vicinity.

Hodges Resources is undertaking infill drilling and coal quality analysis at the site to potentially upgrade open cut resource to JORC indicated status suitable for further mining scoping studies.

"The coal quality and the low strip ratios are extremely encouraging and now the confirmation of a 2.3 billion tonne JORC inferred resource puts Morupule South on the radar of a number of prospective end users and strategic investors."

The company has the right to earn 99% working interest in the project and currently holds a 75% stake.