Following up on the Leader on exploration in France, Code minier, IM, July 2017, p3, Variscan Mines notes recent statements made by senior French governmental ministers in connection with it specifically and the mining industry more generally.
Firstly, in response to questions from local elected officials in Brittany, Paul Delduc (General Director, Planning, Housing and Nature) on behalf of the Minister for Economy, has confirmed the absence of legal grounds to withdraw Variscan’s PERs (Permis Exclusif de Recherches) in Brittany and in particular the Merleac PER held by the company. The company welcomes this affirmation of its legal title.
Secondly, Nicolas Hulot (Minister for Ecological Transition), in response to a September 26 question during the “Questions Au Government” session held in Parliament, notably affirmed that “mining research should not be banned in the territory.” He also stated that the government wants to carry out a reform of the mining code in 2018, to provide “a climate of confidence for third parties and legal certainty for operators.” This is significant as statements in the French Parliament are legally enforceable.
Stewart Dickson, CEO of Variscan Mines said, “We have been actively engaging with all stakeholders concerned with our projects in France. We welcome these positive statements made by senior officials in support of mining activities in France. However, drilling at Merleac remains suspended until further operational decisions are provided. We will continue our efforts to enhance the value of our assets in the interim and maintain effective dialogue with decision makers, at all levels, to establish the conditions for field-work to re-commence”.
In June 2013 Variscan Mines was granted its first exploration licence within Brittany, France. The granting of the Tennie licence (PER) was the culmination of three years of patient work by the company following the identification of high quality projects within Europe. The Tennie PER was the first new mineral exploration licence granted in France for more than two decades, reflecting the clear capacity of Variscan to work within the French Mining Code and the good support that has it received from the community, and local, Prefect and Federal authorities.
Six further PERs have since been granted (as shown), each with good potential for short term resource generation and/or major new discoveries. The company has deliberately targeted more advanced project areas containing previously defined mineralised zones or evidence of substantial old mine workings to help fast track the discovery of economic deposits.