The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 46 of 91

September/October 2014 | ASIA Miner | 45 Vietnam ASIAN Mineral Resources' (AMR) subsidiary, Ban Phuc Nickel Mines (BPNM) has been awarded a mineral exploration licence which pro- vides for exploration of nickel-copper mineralization over a large area around its operating Ban Phuc nickel mine. The licence provides BPNM with exclusive rights to explore 49.7sqkm in Son La province with the immediate focus being on targeted extensions to the operating mine. The licence encompasses multiple high-priority targets already iden- tifed and well understood by BPNM through its extensive surface ex- ploration program. Successful exploration would allow BPNM to apply for and obtain additional mining licences with no auction requirements. The operating Ban Phuc mine and the exploration licence areas are within the Song Da rift zone. This zone has a geological setting which is strongly analogous to other major nickel sulphide camps, already sup- ports two operating nickel mines - Ban Phuc and the Baimazhai mine 250km to the northwest and formed in the same geological event as Ban Phuc - and has numerous identifed nickel occurrences. The Ban Phuc project annually produces more than 6400 tonnes of nickel and 3200 tonnes of copper contained in concentrate, plus a cobalt by-product. AMR's CEO Evan Spencer says, "The award of the exploration li- cence is an exciting step in the company's strategy to become a multi- mine nickel sulphide producer, building from its strategic position in the Song Da rift zone. "It enables us to immediately pursue not only a drill program targeting extensions to the Ban Phuc massive sulphide deposit, extending the life of the existing operations, but also a drill program on high-priority regional targets which may support new stand-alone mines, including the high-potential Suoi Phang/Ban Mong system. "Both the extension of the current operation and the multiple walk-up exploration targets capable of hosting additional standalone mines fur- ther underpin AMR's plans to construct a nickel smelter in Son La, and realize the enhanced project economics it delivers." The exploration licence is valid for four years, with the right to extend for two subsequent two-year periods. Furthermore, in an offcial letter issued by the Vietnam Government Offce on December 24, 2013, BPNM was awarded in-principle exploration rights and exemption from auction require- ments over areas covering a total of 99sqkm within Son La province. In recent years, AMR has maintained a dedicated exploration team which has conducted extensive surface exploration throughout the pro- lifc Song Da rift zone. This exploration work has resulted in a number of well-defned targets. AMR has now commenced a focused exploration program with three aims: • Extend the life of the existing Ban Phuc operation; • Explore the, already well understood, Suoi Phang/Ban Mong sys- tem; and • Demonstrate the potential of new stand-alone mines in the region. The issuance of the licence further supports AMR's plan to construct a nickel smelter in Vietnam, which would enable AMR to signifcantly enhance the economics of Ban Phuc and future regional mines by sub- stantially reducing export tariffs. Initial engineering studies have been completed indicating low capital costs for a smelter facility. Exploration licence granted for Ban Phuc

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