Asian Mineral Resources’ subsidiary, Ban Phuc Nickel Mines (BPNM) has been awarded a mineral exploration licence which provides for the exploration of nickel-copper mineralization over a significant area around its operating Ban Phuc nickel mine in Son La, Vietnam.

The exploration licence provides BPNM with exclusive rights to explore 49.7sqkm in La province with the immediate focus being on targeted extensions to the currently operating Ban Phuc mine.

The licence encompasses multiple high-priority targets already identified and well understood by BPNM through its extensive surface exploration program. Successful exploration would allow BPNM to apply for and obtain additional mining licences with no auction requirements.

Asian Mineral Resources’ CEO Evan Spencer says, “The award of the exploration licence is an exciting step in the company’s strategy to become a multi-mine nickel sulphide producer, building from its strategic position in the Song Da rift zone.

“It enables us to immediately pursue not only a drill program targeting extensions to the Ban Phuc massive sulphide deposit, extending the life of the existing operations, but also a drill program on high-priority regional targets which may support new stand-alone mines, including the high-potential Suoi Phang/Ban Mong system.

“Both the extension of the current operation and the multiple walk-up exploration targets capable of hosting additional standalone mines further underpin AMR’s plans to construct a nickel smelter in Son La, and realize the enhanced project economics it delivers.”

The exploration licence is valid for four years, with the right to extend for two subsequent two-year periods. Furthermore, in an official letter issued by the Vietnam Government Office on December 24, 2013, BPNM was awarded in-principle exploration rights and exemption from auction requirements over areas covering a total of 99sqkm within Son La province.

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