East Asia Minerals says its mining business licence at the Miwah gold project in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has been extended by the relevant local government authority. The Bupati of Pidie Regency has renewed the licences for an additional two years until November 2014, allowing East Asia continued access to the properties to explore for gold and associated minerals.
The company’s chief executive officer Edward Rochette says, “This signed extension was the result of a sustained effort by the company over the past year. The tenure issues at Miwah are now behind us. We can immediately re-start our exploration program for the project. Our team can move forward to seek removal of the surface use restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Forestry.”
Miwah is an epithermal gold target on the northern tip of Sumatra in the province of Aceh. East Asia filed an NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate in May 2011 and has completed preliminary metallurgical studies at the site.
The project takes in three contiguous IUP mining licences which the company is party to through cooperation agreements with its partners. It has an inferred resource of 103.9 million tonnes averaging 0.94 grams/tonne gold and 2.68 grams/tonne silver for 3.14 million ounces of gold and 8.95 million ounces of silver in near and at surface mineralization.
Miwah is within a designated Indonesian government forestry area and East Asia Minerals needs to obtain a two-year forestry permit to conduct activities that will disturb the natural ecosystem. Until the permit is issued, East Asia Minerals and its partners can conduct only grab or channel sampling and must not disturb the underlying forest.
The government has also imposed a forest moratorium designating primary forests in the Aceh province are to be protected, however the company is working to have the Miwah project area reclassified so it is not included in the protected category.
East Asia Minerals has also requested to have the project area removed from the ‘Protection Forest’ zone which would not permit an open-cut operation to commence.