Aspire Mining making good progress with Mongolian coking coal projects

Mongolian coal developer Aspire Mining Ltd’s 50% owned Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) with the Noble Group has received a Conceptual Mining Study from specialist coal engineers, Bluefield Advisory.

  • Conceptual Mining Study from Bluefield Advisory targeted a starter open pit based largely on indicated and inferred resources
  • On 13 April 2016, the company reported JORC 2012 compliant 4.75 Mt in Indicated Resources and 8.1 Mt in Inferred Resources at the Nuurstei coking coal project
  • Preliminary internal project development time line shows first production possible within 12 to 15 months, subject to permitting and funding availability
  • The project is estimated to have a competitive delivered onto rail cost in China
  • The Conceptual Mining Study supports further targeted expenditure on progressing the project so that an investment decision towards mining can be made
  • The Company plans to confirm Conceptual Mining Study assumptions with the planned 2017 drilling and sampling program which is budgeted at $1.5 million
  • Conversion of Nuurstei Exploration License 13580X to a 30 Year Mining License is well advanced as the company works towards a potential operational start in 2018
  • Aspire has agreed with Noble Group to extend the exercise date for the option to acquire Noble’s beneficial 45% interest in Nuurstei from March until June 2017.

Aspire’s Managing Director, David Paull, said that “the Nuurstei coking coal project provides a potential path to production and associated rail connectivity and a long term cashflow source while the company continues to evaluate the worldclass Ovoot coking coal project. Nuurstei also provides the opportunity to generate useful operational and logistics knowledge to assist in the development of the much larger Ovoot project. Nuurstei could also benefit through future access to the planned Northern Rail Line just 70 km to the south.”

Aspire Mining is the largest coal tenement holder in Mongolia’s Northern provinces and is focused on identifying, exploring and developing quality coking coal assets. Aspire currently owns a 50% interest in and is the operator of the ECJV, and has an option to increase its ownership to 100% of the ECJV. The ECJV owns a 90% interest in the Nuurstei project located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia.

Ovoot is the second largest known coking coal project by reserves in Mongolia. Reserves shown in the picture. Its development is dependent on the construction of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway which is being progressed by Northern Railways LLC. Northern Railways has been granted a rail concession in August 2015 and is progressing the negotiations and completion of a bankable feasibility study, funding, EPC contract, applications for licences, permits and approvals to commence railway construction.

Production from the Ovoot project can coincide with the commissioning of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway.