The Asia Miner

JAN-FEB 2018

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

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34 | ASIA Miner | Volume 15 • Issue 1 | 2018 South East Asia - Laos FYI Resources has completed the first level of a review of targeted potash project in Laos, which included a study of the logistics and energy options in-country with the company now focusing on fur- ther development options. FYI scheduled a number of key meetings during the December quarter as the company focuses on plans to bring potash projects in Laos as well as Thailand into production. The Laos target project areas are approximately 220km southeast of the country's capital, Vientiane, and directly across the Mekong River from FYI's target project areas in Thailand. FYI's attraction to the Lao project area is: • Well defined production location - proximity to current trial pro- duction; • Well defined potash geology; • Historic drilling data confirming the presence of high grade, shal- low potash; • Excellent projected project economics; • Good logistics and project support; and • Excellent operating environment and mineral law. The northeast Thai portfolio focuses on the Khorat Basin. The ar- eas were selected on the basis of previous drilling campaign results and associated technical data. FYI's attraction to these project areas include: • Demonstrated high grade potash occurrences (Carnallite and Sylvite); • Shallow mineral horizons relative to current global production; • Lower projected project costs; and • Immediacy to large domestic and global import markets. The potential of both target areas is excellent given the ideal geo- logical setting and demonstrated past exploration success. FYI will focus on establishing and developing shallow high grade, large tonnage potash operations. Because of the natural technical and operational, including capex and opex cost, advantages that the target areas exhibit and have the ability to support, it is expected that the region will become a major competitor in the potash industry. The offtake potential for future production is positive for domestic and export markets. Thailand and Laos are close to the world's larg- est potash consumer markets while both are also agrarian based and have considerable internal potash consumption, of which 100% of demand is imported. FYI recently raised $600,000 in an oversubscribed placement supported by Peloton Capital with funds to be used to advance the potash plans and to support a parallel high-pressure alumina strategy. MMG Lane Xang Minerals Ltd (LXML) Se- pon was awarded runner-up for Best Miner- al Processing Operation in the first ASEAN Minerals Awards. The award recognises ASEAN mining firms for responsible and en- vironmental friendly mining practices. The award was presented in Myanmar by Lao PDR vice minister of Energy and Mines HE Mr Thongphat Inthavong. MMG LXML Sepon was among 50 mining companies involved in mining, processing and distribution of mineral products in the ASEAN region, and the only company from Lao PDR among the eight finalists. The award particularly recognises contri- butions to community development, human resource development, productivity, and measures to address health, safety and en- vironmental performance. MMG LXML Sepon managing director and manager stakeholder relations Saman Aneka said, "I am honoured that LXML was acknowledged as best practice for minerals processing across ASEAN and particularly in Lao PDR. "This award reflects how 'we mine for progress'. It highlights our commitment to developing our people and the value we de- liver to shareholders with the strong support of the Government of Lao PDR." Since operations commenced in 2002, LXML has contributed US$1.4 billion in di- rect revenue to the Lao PDR in taxes, royal- ties and dividends. It has invested more than $17 million in environmental management, rehabilitation, and monitoring activities; generated around $26 million in community incomes from lo- cal businesses; funded more than $10 mil- lion in development projects; invested $46 million in road and electricity infrastructures; and $48 million in UXO clearance. The best practice award recognised a range of operations across ASEAN, in- cluding nickel laterite in the Philippines (Rio Tuba), gold mining in Indonesia (PT Nusa Halmahera) and limestone quarrying in Thai- land (Siam Cement); processing of ferron- ickel in Indonesia (PT Antam), gold ore in the Philippines (OceanaGold) and production of copper cathodes in Lao PDR (MMG LXML Sepon). MMG LXML, in cooperation with the Lao Government, is also preserving Lao cultural heritage and history in Vilabouly district. In October, district chief Khamphoui Si- bounheuang presided over an opening ceremony for a $53,000 extension to the existing cultural centre, funded by LXML. The renovated centre provides additional space to display heritage items including historical artefacts found in Vilabouly during mining operations. FYI completes first level of potash review Copper cathode produced at MMG's Sepon project. Sepon processing recognised by award The cell room at the Sepon operations.

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