The Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV), in which Aspire Mining and the Noble Group are partners, has been notified that the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) has approved the registration of the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia.

The registration is an important procedural step in the application and issuance of a mining licence. It now allows ECJV to lodge the previously prepared General Environmental Impact Assessment and on acceptance, pay application and licence fees for issuance of the mining licence.

Granting of a mining licence provides tenure over a deposit for an initial 30 years with up to two additional 20-year extensions if needed.

The ECJV has also received a preliminary wash plant design study confirming the use of heavy medium separation along with spirals as an effective and accurate methodology for ash removal. Flotation tests on fines fractions have also indicated that this will be an effective method to reduce ash in the fine fractions.

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

On April 19, Aspire announced that it has received a conceptual mine plan for Nuurstei, which confirms 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 mine plan and provide the basis for a feasibility study and a development decision.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull said, “Gaining approval for the registration of the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project is an important milestone in its development. The mining licence is now anticipated to be received in the next few weeks.”

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