Sumatra Copper and Gold says the environmental management plan and environmental impact assessment of its flagship Tembang gold-silver project in Sumatra have been accepted by the local authority.

The Regency of Musi Rawas in South Sumatra province has accepted the terms of reference for the project’s first two stages which will encompass a 10 year mine life. The environmental documents are now in the final review process, and the final permitting is expected to be finalized later this month.

Sumatra’s executive director Adi Sjoekri says, “The help and support we have received from the Musi Rawas government authorities and leaders has been exemplary. Tembang’s development is important for both the company and the local community and we look forward to developing this project together. We will progress towards full project permitting throughout 2012.”

The Bupati of Musi Rawas says, “We have had an excellent working relationship with Sumatra’s local subsidiary PT Dwinad Nusa Sejahtera since the company commenced operations here in 2006. They are a professional and competent company and we look forward to working with them to develop the Tembang mine for the mutual development of their shareholders and the local people.”

The company says the good progress of the critical environmental permitting process means Tembang remains on track to begin production in 2013. The 850sqkm project has a JORC-compliant resource of 976,000 ounces of gold and 12.8 million ounces of silver. The first stage of the production plan will see the mine’s annual output ramp up to 400,000 tonnes.

Tembang is on a brownfield site in the Bengkulu district and was in production until 2000 when low gold prices forced its closure.

Sumatra has appointed a mine manager to oversee the first stage of the project. Don Harper has a strong track record in project management and taking resources projects from pre-feasibility stage into production.

The company’s managing director Julian Ford says Don Harper is a qualified mining engineer with more than 21 years experience in the mining industry. “Don’s management and negotiation skills, as well as his experience in driving projects from grassroots to production will be extremely important in facilitating development of Tembang and I am delighted to welcome him to the company,” he said.

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