Modun Resources’ Nuurst Thermal Coal Project has received technical, economic and environmental mining licence approval from Mongolian officials.
The Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) granted the approval over a total area of 2497 hectares covering the planned open pit mine, plus an encompassing area for surface infrastructure. The approval encompasses all MRAM technical, economic and environmental sustainability criteria.
Modun’s managing director Rick Dalton says, “This is a significant achievement and critical milestone for Modun as we move towards development of the mine and keeps us on a 12-18 month timeframe towards first production. It is the culmination of a tremendous effort by the Mongolian team, with Perth management support and confirms the willingness of the Mongolian Government to support the development of high quality projects such as Nuurst.”
Modun officials say the company is moving toward a feasibility study to expand on an initial mining study which identified the potential for an 84.7 million tonne mine of sub-bituminous thermal coal for a 30-year mining operation, with annual production ramping up to 3 million tonnes by the fourth year of operation.
Indicative production costs are estimated at US$13 per tonne over the mine’s life, reflecting the low overall mining ROM strip ratio of 2.3:1. Feasibility work will allow mine financing development and outlining of overall infrastructure and mine costs to maximize economic benefits, and will include hydrogeological drilling.
Nuurst is 6km from existing railway infrastructure, 120km south of the capital Ulaanbaatar and 600km from the Chinese border in the landlocked desert nation. Other infrastructure nearby includes a 35kV power supply within 6km away and a 220kV powerline running 22km from the licence boundary. Modun is also a preferred coal briquette supplier to the Mongolian Government for Ulaanbaatar’s Clean Air Initiative.
Within the product sale agreement is a required initial annual nameplate capacity of 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes which will allow quality commercial production.