Aspire Mining has received an expression of interest to fund a modular Coal Handling and Processing Plant (CHPP) proposed to be established at the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia. The interest has come from ODDO BHF, a German private bank and financial services group.

While the terms and conditions are to be negotiated and approved following final confirmation of the economic feasibility of Nuurstei, the funding would likely be done under Hermes Fund cover. This is a German Government backed export credit agency, which has been involved in a number of substantial financings in Mongolia over recent years.

Meantime, to assist in funding of project development and fresh from signing an offtake agreement for Nuurstei product, the Noble Group has confirmed the Ekhoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) that it will assist mine development funding using trade-based funding opportunities including arranging coal pre-sales.

ECJV, which owns 90% of the Nuurstei project, is 50%-owned by Aspire and 50% by Noble Group with Aspire having the right to June 30, 2017, to acquire the Noble Group interest for US$1 million and a future royalty.

On April 19, Aspire announced that it had received a conceptual mine plan for the Nuurstei project which confirmed its near-term potential based on trucking coal to the nearest railhead. Subject to funding, a US$1.5 million drilling and sampling program is planned to confirm assumptions used in the conceptual plan and provide the basis for a feasibility study and a development decision.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull said, “There are a number of sources of funding for the Nuurstei mine development such as those highlighted which will limit future dilution for shareholders in the event that the development of the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project proceeds.”