KARACHI - The government has approved the study for development of additional four blocks at Thar Coalfield with estimated cost of Rs520 million, official sources told The Nation. According to sources, the competent forums of the government have already approved the scheme to carry out study of these coal blocks. However, the cost of Rs260 million for study of the two additional coal blocks (9 and 10 blocks) will be borne by the Sindh government from its Annual Development Programme, while federal government will spend equal amount of Rs260 million to initiate study for remaining coal blocks of 11 and 12 from its PSDP in current fiscal year 2009-10. The study for development of additional coal blocks will be implemented through Sindh Coal Authority. According to the copy of PC-2 report of the project available with The Nation, the main objective of the study was to explore coal resources and develop further four blocks over an area of 200 square kilometres that will enable to attract the private investment at Thar coalfield. As the expected outcome of study of coal blocks 7 and 8 has confirmed the coal reserves were found to 1.8 billion tons approximately, while the thickest seam has also discovered ever in Thar were found in the coal block 8, report said. An official of the Mines and Mineral Dept said that study would be carried out through drilling for 40 to 50 bore holes (in each block) with geological, geotechnical and geo-physical logging with total meterage of approximate 3000 meters. Highlighting the details of study official said that the quality of coal will be determined through chemical analysis of all coal seams of one meter and above as per international standards, and coal & core samples including trace elements of selected samples dully preserved in iron core boxes. Official further said that on grid pattern maintaining close space drilling in study area, where possible will be carried out in two years and close spacing will be 0.4km to 0.5km apart, however the project can result in establishing proven coal reserves over 1000 to 3000m tons reserves in extended study area, which will be sufficient for 12000 MW power plant for its life for 30 years. However, the detailed analysis of coal quality and other pertinent data will be made available to the private sector showing them the reserves tonnage and its sustainability for plant operations, he said, adding that the publication of maps and reports on extended study area with brochures will promote and attract both public and private sector for further development in mining and coal utilization. 'With the increase in accuracy and of proven results of coal reserves, the land offered to potential investors will be of lesser area as compared to previously leased areas, thus saving in land resource and chances of more power plants set up to be increased, official said.