A new addition has been made to Aspire Mining’s senior management line up with James Benson appointed as project director for its Ovoot coking coal operation in northern Mongolia. James Benson is an experienced engineer and large-scale project manager, having been previously at the helm of several projects in the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull says James Benson will be responsible for overseeing the Ovoot project through construction of mine infrastructure as well as management of the Erdenet to Moron rail line which is the multi-user rail project being progressed by Aspire subsidiary Northern Railways.

The company is on schedule to begin stage one production at Ovoot in early 2016. Initial annual production will be 6 million tonnes with a ramp up to 12 million tonnes during stage two in 2018.

A pre-feasibility study was released in May this year for the project, which hosts a 331 million tonne maiden resource, making it the largest coking coal deposit in the region.

David Paull says the quality of the Ovoot project has again been able to attract a high calibre executive to the Aspire management team. “Jim’s experience base provides an ideal fit for the significant challenges ahead in bringing the Ovoot project into production.”

James Benson has more than 30 years’ experience in engineering, procurement and construction management, with specific expertise in providing leadership and constructive solutions for large-scale bulk commodity projects in remote regions. He worked for the last decade in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, overseeing multiple billion dollar construction projects for companies including Parsons Brinkerhoff, FERREXPO and Bogatyr Access Komir.


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