MINCO Silver continues to focus on finalisation of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report and permitting process in order to apply for a mining licence for the Fuwan Silver Project in southern China. The company has also applied for a renewal of the Mining Area Permit which expired earlier this year.

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An aerial image showing the soil anomalies along the Fuwan Silver Belt in Guangdong Province.

With the 2015 purchase from Minco Gold of 51% of the Changkeng Gold Project that is adjacent to the Fuwan project, Minco plans to optimise the combined mining footprint of both projects with the objective of developing the Fuwan Silver/Changkeng Gold Project together and to commence commercial mining operations on these properties.

For this purpose, a new feasibility study for the combined project has been prepared by CHALIECO, a Chinese design engineering institute based in Changsha, Hunan Province. The study has been prepared for the company’s internal use and Minco will take reference from it in planning the next step of development of the combined project as sensitivity analysis conducted on metal prices, operating cost and capital cost undertaken as part of the study are within the conditions that currently exist.

Significant progress has been made in permitting and approvals on the Fuwan project:

  • The Chinese Preliminary Feasibility Study was completed by Changsha Non-Ferrous Mine Design Institute and approved by an expert panel.
  • The Mining Area Permit, which covers 0.79sqkm and defines the mining limits of the project and restricts the use of this land to mining activities, was approved by MOLAR. The permit expired on April 10, 2016.
  • The Soil and Water Conservation Plan was completed and approved.
  • The Geological Hazard Assessment was completed and approved in September 2009.
  • The Mine Geological Environment Treatment Plan was reviewed and approved by the Environment Committee of China Geology Association.
  • The preliminary Safety Assessment draft report was completed in December 2011 and submitted to the Safety Bureau of Guangdong Province for approval.

The company, through Changfu Minco, has three reconnaissance survey exploration permits on the Fuwan project (Luoke-Jilinggang, Hecun and Guyegang-Sanyatang), having a total area of 125.74sqkm, covering a major part of the northeast-trending Fuwan Silver Belt, which hosts the gold and silver occurrences in Sanzhou basin.

The projects are in Gaoming County about 45km southwest of Guangzhou, the fourth largest city in China with more than 13 million people and the capital of Guangdong.

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