Environmental permit granted - Final major permit before construction
Aureus Mining Inc.
TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc. ("Aureus" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the approval of its Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") and the granting of the environmental permit ("Environmental Permit") for the Company's New Liberty Project ("New Liberty" or "the Project") by the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"). The receipt of the Environmental Permit means that Aureus has all of the major licences and permits required for the construction phase of the Project. This is a major achievement in the development of New Liberty, which will be Liberia's first commercial gold mine and Aureus' first mine in its highly prospective 546km2 total licence area.
David Reading, Chief Executive Officer of Aureus, commented:
"Having the Environmental Permit along with the 25 year Mining License means that Aureus now has all of the major approvals required to build the New Liberty mine in Liberia. Aureus can now focus on the financing, building on the extensive negotiations that have taken place over the past 12 months. As per the feasibility study published on 1 October, the Company has a clearly defined work programme to be carried out before the commencement of construction. This includes optimising the plant, conducting metallurgical testing, preparing detailed engineering designs and the diversion of the creek. These initiatives will be completed in the near-term.
"In addition to having the prospect of near-term gold production, exploration continues apace. Weaju will be the first target for exploration when the next field season begins later this month. The high grade nature of this target, which includes historical intercepts of 33.0g/t over 24m and 19.9g/t over 34m, means that it could be very significant either as a stand-alone project, given sufficient scale, or as a satellite deposit for New Liberty."
Milestones before construction phase
The key workstreams and milestones to be completed in the remainder of 2012 and early 2013 before the commencement of full scale construction include the following:
|Relocation Action Plan approval||Early Q4 2012|
|Community Development Plan approval||Early Q4 2012|
|Project optimisations (layout, metallurgical testing)||Complete Q1 2013|
|Placing orders for long lead items||Commence Q4 2012|
|Detailed engineering designs||Commence Q1 2013|
|Creek diversion||Commence Q1 2013|
|Village relocation (new village build)||Commence Q1 2013|
|Mining contract / EPCM||
Environmental Permit Granted
The issuance of the Environmental Permit follows the formal approval process and acceptance by the EPA of the Company's EIS, in accordance with Section 37 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act of Liberia. The EIS approval process included local open-forum hearings, which were attended by members of the public and NGOs, as well as site visits from Government representatives. The EIS meets or exceeds all local regulations and complies with international best practice. The Environmental Permit considers the full implementation of key components of the EIS, including cyanide management plan, existing mining and forestry reform laws as well as the resettlement action plan ("RAP") for the Kinjor and Larjor settlements. Aureus is required to submit an Annual Environmental Report to the EPA after the commencement of operations.
The Environmental Permit is valid for three years and is subject to an annual renewal by the EPA, which requires on-going environmental compliance, in accordance with the Liberian Environment Protection and Management Law, November 2006. Further specific permits and licences will be required, which include the construction permit and mining permit, but with the exception of the RAP, these are procedural and will be secured in an appropriately timely basis.
Resettlement Action Plan and the Community Development Plan
The RAP and the Community Development Plan ("CDP") cover social issues which need to be approved before the village relocation takes place. The RAP has already been finished and will be submitted in the next week and the CDP will be submitted in November. With local leaders highly involved in the planning stages of the village relocation, the Company foresees no difficulties in this step.
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project"), which has an estimated Reserve of 910,000 ounces of gold grading 3.3 g/t and an estimated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.6 g/t and an estimated Inferred Mineral Resource of 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. The project is expected to have an eight and a half year mine life and annual production of 120,000 ounces for the first four years of production.
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Bea Mountain mining licence, which covers 457 km2 and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts the proximal gold targets of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2012. The contiguous Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89km2, is also a focus of exploration for 2012, with Leopard Rock being the main target.
The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.
This press release contains certain forward-looking information. All information, other than information regarding historical fact, that addresses activities, events or developments that Aureus Mining believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the future plans and objectives of Aureus Mining and their anticipated future growth, mineral resource estimates and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus Mining. The foregoing and any other forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of Aureus Mining based on information currently available to Aureus Mining. With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this press release, Aureus Mining has made assumptions regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; and it has also been assumed that no material adverse change in the price of precious and/or base metals occurs, no unusual geological or technical problems occur and no significant events occur outside of the normal course of Aureus Mining's respective business.
Such forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; uncertainty of mineral resources estimates; adverse changes in precious and/or base metal prices; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Preliminary Prospectus of Aureus Mining Inc. dated April 20, 2011, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus-mining.com.
Any mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While Aureus Mining believes that the mineral resource estimates in respect of their respective properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on Aureus Mining, as applicable. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.
Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus Mining disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
SOURCE: Aureus Mining Inc.For further information:
Aureus Mining Inc.
David Reading / Jeremy Cave
Tel: +44(0) 20 7257 2930
Bobby Morse / Louise Mason / Gordon Poole
Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000
RBC Capital Markets (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
Martin Eales / Richard Hughes
Tel: +44(0) 20 7653 4000
GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker)
Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse
Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800