Aspire Mining has received a Mining Licence for 860.9 hectares of its 90%-owned Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia. The licence was granted by the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) and provides Aspire with a minimum 30-year tenure over the area.

Aspire says the granting of the licence is an important milestone for the project. It will mean that Aspire will issue 10 million shares to Xanadu Mines as required under a sale and purchase agreement announced in June 2014.

A conceptual mine plan has been prepared for Nuurstei based on the JORC-compliant resource of 4.75 million indicated tonnes and 8.1 million inferred tonnes. The plan indicates a potentially attractive mining proposition to truck coal 420km to the nearest rail head at Erdenet for export to north eastern coking coal customers.

Nuurstei coking coal has been successfully tested in Chinese coke plants as a high quality, low sulphur hard coking coal.

Aspire is preparing for a bulk trial of indicative Nuurstei raw coal to test logistics paths and costs targeting delivery into the Tangshan coking coal market. This coal is planned to be washed at a toll facility in northern China before delivery into Tangshan.

The trial will also provide valuable data for future wash plant design; be important in completing a feasibility study for the Nuurstei project; and provide commercial scale samples for targeted end customers.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull said, “Securing a Mining Licence is an important milestone and reflects the Mongolian Government’s continued support for the company and the coal industry in general.

“This vindicates our original decision in June 2014 to look to add a new coking coal project which is not rail dependent and the decision in July 2017 to exercise our option to move to a 90% interest.

“The company is now working very hard on commercialising this high quality coking coal project as soon as possible.”