Angkor Gold Corp advises that the Cambodian government has approved the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Mesco Gold (Cambodia) Ltd’s Phum Syarung mine in northeast Cambodia.

This decision represents the final step before approval from the Minister of Mines for Mesco’s mining licence application covering 12sqkm at the Phum Syarung mine site, for the extraction of minerals including gold and other precious and base metals. Mesco has completed most of the necessary mine infrastructure.

Angkor maintains a sliding-scale net smelter return (NSR) agreement from 2%-7.5% based on the price of gold on the Phum Syarung mine. For all other minerals, a 7.5% NSR will be paid.

Angkor Gold’s chairman and CEO Mike Weeks said, “This news represents the final step in the process towards issuing Mesco with their mining licence for the Phum Syarung mine site. We are extremely pleased with the approach that the Cambodian government has taken to apply international standards to this important process.”

“The Phum Syarung mine site has received very positive reactions from all, and we anticipate the final approval process to be quick,” said Angkor’s VP of operations JP Dau. “There are a number of serious investment firms and mining companies keeping a very close eye on this process as Cambodia continues to increase in popularity within international investment communities.”

Cambodia Association for Mining and Exploration Companies president Richard Stanger said, “Cambodia, after years of grass roots exploration, is finally starting to see some of the early development pay off. Mesco’s licence marks the beginning of a new chapter for the country in the mineral sector, moving the industry one step closer towards extraction. It is a testament to the dedication and efforts made by this government in working to build a viable mining sector.”

Angkor’s six exploration licences in the Kingdom of Cambodia cover 1273sqkm, which the company has been actively exploring over the past six years. The company has now covered all tenements with stream sediment geochemical sampling and has flown low level aeromagnetic surveys over most of the ground.

Angkor has drilled 21,855 metres of NQ core in 190 holes and has collected in excess of 110,000 termite mound, ‘B’ and ‘C’ zone soil samples in over 20 centres of interest over a combined area of over 140sqkm, in addition to numerous trenches and detailed geological field mapping. Exploration on all tenements is ongoing.

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