Aspire Mining’s Mongolian rail infrastructure subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC, has received two important sign-offs from the Mongolian Government necessary to progress rail concession negotiations with the Mongolian Government.
The first is a General Environmental Impact Assessment (GEIA) approved by the Ministry of Environment. This is a high level assessment that shows that the rail path chosen has been assessed and that a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) can now be prepared. The issuance of the GEIA is important for making an application for a rail concession. The assessment also includes supporting correspondence for the Erdenet-Ovoot railway from the provinces through which the alignment passes.
The second sign-off was received from the Science, Technical Advisory Council which advises the Ministry of Roads and Transportation. The advisory council assessed the proposed alignment path along with the pre-feasibility studies supporting this alignment and have agreed to provide in principle support for these studies and the selected alignment.
Northern Railways has also recently received a further batch of 1:5000 scale maps which form the basis of desk top engineering studies. Northern Railways is now in possession of maps covering a 3km-wide corridor for the first 435km of the 547km alignment. The final 112km of maps are due to be received by Northern Railways by the end of February.
Aspire’s managing director David Paull says, “Achieving both of these milestones are important in the path along which we are travelling to see the Erdenet-Ovoot railway come to fruition. We are now working closely with our advisers and potential funding partners so that we can put a strong case to the Government of Mongolia for a concession to be issued to Northern Railways.”
Aspire is listed on the ASX and owns 100% of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia. Aspire completed a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Ovoot Project in May 2012, a PFS revision in December 2012 and was granted its mining licence in August 2012. Aspire is targeting first production at the Ovoot project in 2019 subject to funding, approvals, licences and construction of rail infrastructure.