EMED Mining Receives Favourable Ruling for Rio Tinto Copper Mine From Andalucia's Department of Culture and Heritage in Spain

AIM: EMED, TSX: EMD 

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - EMED Mining Public Limited (AIM: EMED, TSX: EMD) ("EMED Mining" or "the Company"), the mining exploration and development company focused on several projects in Europe, announced today that the Department of Culture and Heritage of the Junta de Andalucía has provided a favourable report regarding the Company's plans for its flagship Rio Tinto Copper Mine.

One of the four principal regulatory authorities with responsibility for the Rio Tinto Copper Mine, the Department of Culture and Heritage has approved, from a heritage point of view, the Company's proposed mining activities as detailed in various submissions. This represents the first formal response to the Company's application for Administrative Standing (the administrative approval of the Company's mineral rights). Responses from the three other departments are awaited.

The approval of the Department of Culture and Heritage is subject to certain conditions that are largely aimed at ensuring that the extensive heritage at Rio Tinto is clearly documented and then preserved or studied appropriately as mining, processing and rehabilitation are carried out responsibly.

One proposed condition is that EMED Mining will be required to inform the Department of Culture and Heritage prior to disturbing any heritage item at the Rio Tinto Copper Mine.

Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, Managing Director of EMED Mining, commented:

      "We are very pleased to have received this important ruling that helps advance our project toward production.
      "Mining activities have been undertaken at Rio Tinto over several millennia. These extensive activities have created many areas with an important historical, ethnological, archaeological, or industrial value.
      "EMED Mining is sensitive to the importance of Rio Tinto's historical and cultural value and we have designed the mine in such a way to minimise the impact on heritage sites.
      "We look forward to working constructively with the Department of Culture and Heritage to not only preserve the site's heritage but also to increase the area's rich potential for tourism. EMED Mining has already demonstrated, through its collaboration with local communities, its commitment to bring long-term, sustainable benefits to this region of Spain."

Background Information

Mining at Rio Tinto has taken place since at least 1,000 B.C. and has been undertaken by the Phoenicians, Romans, British (Rio Tinto Company), Americans (Freeport McMoran) and finally, the "local workers' co-operative" Minas de Rio Tinto ("MRT"). Since Roman times, more than 140 million tonnes of copper ore has been mined from several open-pit and underground mines. Before the arrival of the British miners in 1873, mining activity mainly consisted of underground mining in the Filón Sur area.

Rio Tinto Plc built the current processing facility in 1969 and then expanded the facility in 1982-1985. The operation has been on care and maintenance since 2001.

EMED Mining is currently progressing the various regulatory approvals that are required to restart of mining operations at the Rio Tinto Copper Mine.

The Rio Tinto Copper Mine covers an area of approximately 1,321 hectares and includes a large open pit, processing plant, tailings storage facilities, administrative offices and other general infrastructure.

The Rio Tinto Copper Mine has been declared as Property of Cultural Interest within the category of a Historical Site, thus making the mine and associated infrastructure a Protected Heritage Area.

Following completion of the investigation stage of reviewing the Company's submissions, the Department of Culture and Heritage has provided a favourable written report subject to certain conditions. These conditions are primarily aimed at ensuring that:

    >     The Department of Culture and Heritage authorises any action impacting heritage items at the Rio Tinto Copper Mine;
    >     Documentation for the Rio Tinto Copper Mine states that all operations are within a Protected Heritage Area; and
    >      Reference to the relevant legislation and applicable regulations shall be clearly reflected in such documentation.

This favourable report will become a legal resolution upon agreement between the Junta and the Company on the required modifications and conditions.

As part of its review, the Department of Culture and Heritage has largely supported the Company's initiatives to preserve heritage and promote tourism, such as:

    >     Building a scale model of the disused "Gossan Plant", which will be donated to the Department of Culture and Heritage for exhibition at a suitable location;
    >     Re-assembling the winch and headframe from the historical Alfredo Shaft at the Cerro Colorado lookout; and
    >     Preserving the "coloured slopes" of certain waste dumps in their current eroded state rather than rehabilitating with vegetation.

This represents the first formal response to the Company's application for Administrative Standing (the administrative approval of the Company's mineral rights). The three other relevant departments (Department of Industry, Department of Environment and the Water Authority) have yet to formally respond in respect of the Company's application for the Administrative Approval of its mineral rights. Other material recent developments in respect of permitting the Rio Tinto Copper Mine include the following:

    >      The settlement with the Department of Social Security (see Company announcement of 8 June 2010);
    >      The clarification of landowners' responsibilities by the Department of Industry (see Company announcement of 18 August 2010). It remains the case that only the Company has offered to meet the responsibilities as stipulated by the regulatory authorities and indeed has already been doing so to the full extent allowed by the neighbouring landowners; and
    >      The satisfaction by the Company of the regulators' request for letters of non-opposition (to the regulatory approval of the Company's application) from four of six members of the Liquidation Commission of former project owner MRT which has been in liquidation for ten years (see announcement of 15 December 2010).

Notes to Editors: About EMED Mining Public Limited

EMED Mining was admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in May 2005 and on the Toronto Stock Exchange in December 2010.

The Company is committed to responsible development of metal production in Europe, with a focus on copper, gold and critical raw materials.

The Group's region of interest is the tectonic belts spanning across Europe and over to the Middle East. The strategy is to evaluate exploration and development opportunities in several jurisdictions throughout this quality mineral belt and to promote sustainable development practices through the implementation of European Union and other international standards. The Company strictly implements its Environmental & Community Policies.

EMED Mining is focused on two key projects in Spain and Slovakia:

      Copper in Spain: The Company's priority is to progress the planning and permitting process required to commence production from its wholly-owned Rio Tinto Copper Mine. Located 65km northwest of Sevilla in Andalucía, the open-pit mine, processing plant and waste disposal facilities has been on care and maintenance since 2001.
      Gold in Slovakia: EMED Mining discovered the Biely Vrch porphyry gold deposit and is currently advancing the planning and permitting necessary for development.

EMED Mining has the following other notable earlier-stage activities:

  • Exploration licences in the copper-mining districts of Cyprus;
  • An option over a tungsten deposit in Portugal; and
  • A 20% shareholding in KEFI Minerals Plc which operates exploration joint ventures in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

For further information on EMED Mining and technical details on the Company's projects, please refer to www.emed-mining.com.


SOURCE EMED Mining Public Limited

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