Manas Resources has been awarded a mining and development licence at its Shambesai gold project in Kyrgyzstan’s Batken state. The licence secures legal tenure of the project for Manas and permits the completion of the design, construction and commissioning phases of Shambesai.

A second licence will be issued for the operational phase once the technical permitting is complete and environmental and social impact assessment is approved.

“This is a key milestone and an endorsement of our development plans for Shambesai. With the addition of the recent Urban Development Council approval and the open support Manas is now receiving from the government, we are able to proceed with confidence towards gold production in 2014,” says the company’s managing director Stephen Ross.

Manas is committed to fast-tracking development of the site, with the design for the project’s processing plant and mine under way.

Shambesai is in the Tien Shan gold belt and one of seven Carlin-style deposits the company is exploring in the southern Kyrgyzstan region. It is a technically simple, low-cost, high-margin vat heap leach operation projected to process 3.2 million tonnes of ore @ 2.8 grams/tonne gold for the recovery of 245,000 ounces of gold over 4.5 years.

The capital costs to first production and first gold pour are US$32.6 million, which the company expects to be able to pay back within the first ten months of operation. Manas is in negotiations with several well-credentialed banks and finance institutions to secure debt finance options.

The Australian-based company owns another Kyrgyz project site just 7km from Shambesai - the Obdilla prospect is estimated to host at least 485,000 ounces of gold.

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