Axiom Mining has recommenced exploration and pre-development activities at the San Jorge deposit which forms part of the Isabel Nickel Project on the Solomon Islands. The company’s development and environment team has been deployed back to the Solomons and to Isabel province.

This activity follows a lengthy period of uncertainty for the company regarding its licences.

In an ASX announcement earlier this month, Axiom said that the country’s Prime Minister had appointed a new Minister of Mines and that initial indications from the Ministry of Mines were that licensing for the Isabel project was a major and immediate priority.

The announcement stated that after more than a decade of nickel exploration and five years in litigation against Axiom and the Solomons Islands Government, Sumitomo Corporation had announced a full departure from the country by the end of the year.

The company recently presented at the Australia Solomons Business Forum and received notable support from attendees, including government officials and keynote speakers.

“The company is now at the forefront of leading the mining industry out of dormancy and into ethical and sustainable development,” Axiom said in the announcement.

Meantime, $2 million of convertible note (tranche II) has been brought forward and made available immediately which will help the company carry out the next phase of work.

Axiom says the convertible note financier has conducted in-country and project site due diligence and has agreed to fund a further $3 million to - $5 million, if required and at the company’s discretion.

CEO Ryan Mount said: “We believe success and the ultimate reward for shareholders is close to hand. The respect we have generated in fending off major obstacles in a number of areas and at the same time maintaining integrity through adversity has now placed us as the forerunner in the development of a mining industry for Solomon Islands.”

“This is not a position we take lightly and at the same time we congratulate the Solomon Islands Government in making the decisions necessary for laying a platform for sustainable mineral development.

“Whilst proceeding through at times a complex process to obtain our licences we continue to respect the rights of landowners and are proud to have them as our partners in development.

“With our renewed optimism we have recommenced exploration and pre-development activities on the San Jorge deposit, part of the world-class Isabel Nickel Project. Our first class team of geologists, miners, environmentalists and social experts are in Solomon Islands now making all the preparations necessary to make this project a banner for sustainable development in the Pacific.”

“Nickel ore continues to be in short supply aided by the situation in the Philippines where President Rodrigo Duterte last week announced he agreed with the banning of open pit mining for nickel ore. This will positively impact upon our market as they are the largest nickel laterite ore exporter.”

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