Astra Resources’ Cambodian subsidiary Astra Ratana is finalizing negotiations for the acquisition of gold exploration licence 836 covering 220sqkm, which is owned by Nam Hai Joint Stock Company.

The licence is in Cambodia’s north-eastern Ouyadav district in Ratanakiri province. Geoscience Australia has estimated the gold deposit to be 3 million ounces for the intrusion system. Drilling is yet to be completed to confirm estimates.

This district hosts a new gold province which is beginning to emerge across the northern part of Cambodia. A trend of gold occurrences and artisanal mining centres follows a west/north west structurally controlled trend spanning the country. This includes the resource at Okvau of 605,000 ounces.

Astra will take ownership of the licence in return for cash and shares in Astra Resources. Nam Hai says it has terminated a 2011 agreement between Astra Ratana via a third party intermediary due to its corporate structure. Legal advice to the company also deemed the licence’s transfer as unacceptable for regulatory approval. The current alternative structure with Astra is suitable to the acquisition’s completion. Astra has cancelled any ongoing relationship with the third party based on legal advice.

Astra says Cambodia is considered an underexplored region for ore deposits with virtually no coverage by modern exploration techniques. Cambodia has typical mining characteristics found elsewhere including an abundant water supply, electricity supply and close proximity to Vietnam. The Ratanakiri licence site’s proximity to the Vietnam border has seen office and mine camps already established.

The company says there is also potential for quick cashflow from alluvial-placer gold deposits on the project site.