A LONG awaited definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Chaarat Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic is largely complete with Chaarat Gold Holdings reviewing a number of processes. The company has also taken part in a successful local public hearings process.

Chaarat Gold Holdings’ flagship project is in Chatkal Valley in the northwest of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The company has faced extra challenges arising from its use of a Chinese contractor for the DFS, particularly the translation of a large volume of work from Chinese to Russian, and regulatory sign-off of the work in China.

In August Chaarat said attempts to reconcile and co-ordinate Western study practices with Chinese technical approaches as well as interface the work with local Kyrgyz standards had proved even more challenging and time consuming than anticipated.

In a statement it said: “There have been two principal challenges. The first was the large volume of technical Chinese to Russian translation for review by local Kyrgyz institutes. The review process, in order to ensure compliance of the project design with local regulations, is under way following completion of translations.

“The second is the formal and thorough review process which NFC, which has overall responsibility for the DFS, and NERIN, the design institute affiliated to NFC which is carrying out the DFS work, have to complete to comply with Chinese regulatory standards before they can sign off the DFS.”

Chaarat also stated: “As part of the process of obtaining our licence to operate, we have been engaging with local communities to explain our plans for developing the project. We have listened to and discussed the concerns of local communities and explained the benefits of the development.

“In June a visit to the Copler mine in Turkey was organized with the assistance of Alacer Gold Corp. This is an open pit heap leach operation similar to that planned for Chaarat. A delegation of 16 leaders from Chatkal local communities saw for themselves how heap leach production operates and talked to residents from villages near the mine to understand the employment opportunities and other benefits of the development. Just as importantly they could understand the measures taken to ensure any negative impact of the mine on the environment was contained.

“Following an extensive campaign the communities of Chatkal valley conducted a public hearing in July during which they voted on whether to support development of the Chaarat project and its permitting. We are very pleased to report that the project was strongly supported by local communities.”

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