Bowen Coking Coal has kicked off exploration at its Hillalong project in the Bowen Basin within days of securing a farm-in deal with Sumitomo Corporation.

The company has engaged Xenith Consulting for its exploration program and said on Friday (October 11) that drill site clearing and inductions were underway.

Drilling will target two economic coal seams – Elphinstone and Hynds – within the Rangal coal measures which are currently being mined by operations nearby.

The Hillalong South exploration program is part of the initial phase of the farm-in agreement.

Bowen Coking Coal said access negotiations were still underway for the Hillalong North program, which was targeted for completion before the wet season.

The Hillalong project lies about 16km north-west of the Hail Creek mine, owned by the Glencore-Marubeni-Sumitomo joint venture.

Hillalong coal project drilling kicks off