A Special Mining Lease (SML) application for PanAust Limited’s Frieda River Copper-Gold Project in Papua New Guinea has been registered with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) of PNG. The application follows completion of the project feasibility study.

The lodgement satisfies a condition of the exploration licence that an application for an SML in respect of the Frieda River mining project be made on or before June 30, 2016.

The SML application comprises a Proposal for Development, which incorporates the feasibility study report and further supporting documents including an Employment and Training Plan; a Land Ownership Study; and a Business Development, Supply and Procurement Plan.

The Land Ownership Study presents findings of extensive research into the customary ownership of land that will be included in tenements being sought for development of the Project.

The Employment and Training Plan, and the Business Development, Supply and Procurement Plan outline the employment and business opportunities which prioritise landowning and other host communities located close to the proposed mine and associated logistics corridor.

PanAust managing director Dr Fred Hess said that lodgement of the SML application represented a crucial milestone in the pursuit of organic growth for the company.

“Since taking control of the project in 2014, PanAust has committed significant resources to complete the feasibility study and maintaining a site presence while engaging extensively with the Government of PNG and host communities.

“PanAust has devoted over 235,000 man-hours and invested US$65 million to advance the project. This has been achieved with no lost time injuries, an excellent outcome for a project that is located in a remote area with limited access.

“We look forward to working with the PNG government, landowners and host communities to further advance the project for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“The SML application gives us a good platform to secure support for major shared-use infrastructure, which would benefit the project and the people of Sandaun and East Sepik provinces. A revised scope incorporating such infrastructure support would not only improve the project’s economics but lead to increased direct and indirect economic benefits for Papua New Guinea,” he said.


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