The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2015

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

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52 | ASIA Miner | October-December 2015 Central Asia A LONG awaited defnitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Chaarat Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic is largely complete with Chaarat Gold Holdings reviewing a number of processes. The company has also taken part in a successful local public hearings process. The company has faced extra challenges arising from its use of a Chinese contractor for the DFS, particularly the translation of a large volume of work from Chinese to Russian, and regulatory sign-off of the work in China. In August Chaarat said attempts to reconcile and co-ordinate Western study practices with Chinese technical approaches as well as interface the work with local Kyrgyz standards had proved even more challenging and time consuming than anticipated. In a statement it said: "There have been two principal challeng- es. The frst was the large volume of technical Chinese to Russian translation for review by local Kyrgyz institutes. The review process, in order to ensure compliance of the project design with local regu- lations, is under way following completion of translations. "The second is the formal and thorough review process which NFC, which has overall responsibility for the DFS, and NERIN, the design institute affliated to NFC which is carrying out the DFS work, have to complete to comply with Chinese regulatory standards be- fore they can sign off the DFS." Chaarat also stated: "As part of the process of obtaining our li- cence to operate, we have been engaging with local communities to explain our plans for developing the project. We have listened to and discussed the concerns of local communities and explained the benefts of the development. "In June a visit to the Copler mine in Turkey was organized with the assistance of Alacer Gold Corp. This is an open pit heap leach operation similar to that planned for Chaarat. A delegation of 16 leaders from Chatkal local communities saw for themselves how heap leach production operates and talked to residents from villag- es near the mine to understand the employment opportunities and other benefts of the development. Just as importantly they could understand the measures taken to ensure any negative impact of the mine on the environment was contained. "Following an extensive campaign the communities of Chatkal val- ley conducted a public hearing in July during which they voted on whether to support development of the Chaarat project and its per- mitting. We are very pleased to report that the project was strongly supported by local communities." AUSTRALIAN mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has started ex- ploration in Kazakhstan and is initially focusing on three sites in the Kostanai, North Kazakhstan and Akmola regions. One of the frst tasks was an airborne geophysical survey. Iluka established an exploration offce earlier this year and the head of this offce, Alison Morley, together with the Kazakh Min- ister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev, recently announced the start of exploration. In a statement Kazgeologiya information department said: "The parties discussed a project concerning the realization of national geological studies on three sites. The project is going to be imple- mented in the frameworks of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the Field of Geological Study and Exploration." Minister Issekeshev said exploration work would be a main priority in the industrial policy and high-tech services of the country. "Raw materials are one of the main components of the well-functioning industry in the country, thus the state pursues comprehensive work in this feld, including the liberalization of legislation based on the Australian experience." It is also planned to present at least 100 geological objects at an auction by the end of the year. Alison Morley thanked the Kazakh ministry for supporting the proj- ect and reported on the company's activities in Kazakhstan over the past year, including the beginning of exploration work. Iluka will cover all expenditure concerning the geological studies and further exploration. In case of a commercial interest, the company may also consider constructing a mine and a processing factory. The company, founded in 1954 in Perth, conducts exploration, mining, processing, project development and marketing of mineral sands products. It is also one of the biggest producers of zircon and high-quality titanium dioxide products in the world. Meantime, Iluka's focus at the Puttalam project in Sri Lanka re- mains on government negotiations regarding legal and investment terms as well as on a scoping study on the PQ deposit. Iluka has defned mineral sand resources within the Puttalam District of the North Western Province and is in the early stages of evaluating these resources for potential development of a conventional mineral sands mining and processing operation. The project, if approved by authorities and proceeded with, can be expected to contribute economically and socially to Sri Lanka, including direct and indirect employment; introduction of new min- ing, processing and industrial technology, as well as high value ex- port products generating material foreign exchange revenues. Iluka begins exploration in Kazakhstan Chaarat Gold Holdings' fagship project is in Chatkal Valley in the northwest of the Kyrgyz Republic. Chaarat Gold DFS almost complete

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