NICOSIA, Cyprus, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - EMED Mining Public Limited (AIM: EMED) (TSX: EMD) ("EMED Mining" or "the Company"), the Europe-based minerals development and exploration company, announces today the following operational update for the three-month period ended 31 December 2011. The full Quarterly Report, including consolidated Financial Statements and the Management Discussion and Analysis, will be issued on or before 31 March 2012.
Managing Director Harry Anagnostaras-Adams will be hosting an on-line investor briefing at 15:00 GMT (10:00 am Toronto time) on Tuesday 17 January, which will be broadcast live via video conference. To participate in the conference, during which participants will be able to email questions, attendees should go to www.presentation-matters.co.uk/emedwebstream
Rio Tinto Copper Mine - Spain
- The Junta de Andalucia (the "Government") has made public policy statements that clearly confirm support for the Company's plans to restart the Rio Tinto Mine as soon as possible, including that it wants the project to be triggered in Q3 2012, the same target date as EMED Mining.
- Supportive public statements include that it is satisfied with the Company's constructive approach to resolving outstanding issues, and with its technical and economic competencies - the criteria for approval of its administrative standing.
- The Company has responded to all queries and requests from the Government regarding permitting. These responses have addressed all matters raised. The Company has also undertaken to provide independent expert reports on sensitive areas such as the optimisation of waste and tailings management and storage.
- The Government has taken initial steps to demonstrate its commitment to administer permitting and access to third-party lands, whilst ensuring proper handling of third parties' rights and full regulatory compliance. The judiciary has dismissed all legal challenges filed by the former project operator and adjoining landowners against the Company's plans. Any challenges yet to be heard are considered to be frivolous, are expected to be dismissed by the judiciary, and have no bearing on the project.
- An agreement was executed with project vendor MRI Holding ("MRI") giving the Company rights to a number of mineral concessions adjacent to the Rio Tinto Copper Mine site. This provides exploration potential which will potentially aid the Company's objective to extend project life.
Detva Gold Project - Slovakia
- The approvals process continues for the proposed open-pit mine at Biely Vrch and includes stakeholder consultations. It is currently envisaged that the project will produce ~60,000 ounces of gold per year at an average cash cost of ~US$530/ounce but the Company intends to further optimize the pit design.
- EMED Mining is engaging with a range of banks, potential product customers, royalty funds and equity investors to optimize financing of the production start-up in Spain. Short-listed parties have provided indicative terms sheets which include proposals for full funding of anticipated requirements.
- Resource Capital Funds and RMB Australia Holdings have exercised their right to convert the amounts owed to them under the secured convertible loan agreement dated 4 March 2009 into new ordinary shares at a price of 4.13 pence per share. Accordingly, the outstanding principal amount owing under the Loan Agreement of US$8.5 million has been satisfied in full by the issue of shares. RCF now owns 167.0 million shares and RMB 67.5 million shares, 18% and 7% respectively of the fully-diluted shares on issue.
- Dr. Jose Nicolas Sierra Lopez has joined the Board of EMED Mining as non- executive Director based in Madrid. Dr. Sierra (aged 73) brings to the Company extensive experience as a mining and energy leader in the business and government sectors, formerly as Spain's national Director General of Mines and Construction Industries, and the EU's Director for Fossil Fuels.
- Mr. Robert Francis has joined the Board of EMED Mining as a non-executive director based in Canada. Mr Francis (aged 66) is a retired senior partner of the Toronto office of Deloitte & Touche LLP, having enjoyed an extensive career in public accounting in Canada. He provided a complete range of services to the metals/mining sector and advised extensively on corporate regulatory compliance matters.
Harry Anagnostaras Adams, Managing Director of EMED Mining, commented:
"EMED Mining enters 2012 full of optimism regarding the permitting and start-up of the Rio Tinto Copper Mine. We look forward to restarting this major copper mine and greatly appreciate that we have earned public declarations of support from the Andalucian Government, all political parties, unions and municipal councils.
"We are committed to the timetable that aims to trigger the restart during Q3 2012, followed by a ramp-up to target steady-state production of 9 million tonnes of ore per annum and concentrate containing 82 million pounds of copper in 2014.
"The Company's teams are making steady progress on all aspects of permitting, legal, finance and project planning of start-up and expansion. In mid-2010 we lodged full submissions covering all operational and environmental aspects of restarting Rio Tinto. Between April and November 2011 there has been a series of requests from the Government. Having submitted our various responses, the substantive issues still on the table relate to waste and tailings management. We feel confident that our plans satisfy all local, European and international standards. Nevertheless EMED has commissioned independent specialist reviews on those aspects because we are committed to providing and demonstrating the best possible solution that balances environmental, economic and operational criteria.
"Two key steps need to be completed during Q1 2012 in order to be able to trigger the restart of this major copper mine during Q3 2012. The first is the transfer of the mineral rights (Administrative Standing) which will enable EMED Mining to utilize third-party owned land that is required for the project. We believe that EMED Mining, based on its legal, technical and economic capacities, has satisfied the tests for this first step. The second step is for the technical teams of the Government and the Company to agree the remaining unresolved environmental aspects so that detailed engineering and final documentation for the entire project can proceed, be assembled, submitted and duly processed.
"Our plans for the Rio Tinto Copper Mine are in full compliance with European Union standards and embrace a vision that comprises the concepts of sustainability and environmental stewardship.
"We have also been laying the foundations for commencement of brownfields exploration programs which have the potential to expand mineral resources and extend project life which is of paramount importance to all stakeholders."
For further information:
|Investors/Media:||Harry Anagnostaras-Adams +357 9945 7843|
|In North America : Andreas Curkovic +1 416-577-9927|
|General: Cyprus office: +357 2244 2705, Email: [email protected]|
|Renmark Financial Communications Inc.|
|Peter Mahzari: [email protected]|
|Laurence A. Lachance: [email protected]|
|Media - Guy Hurd: [email protected]|
|Tel.: (514) 939-3989 or (416) 644-2020|