This follows the company’s submission incorporating and consolidating all past data and information on Ovoot.
Aspire received the results of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the early development of the world class Ovoot Coking Coal Project in February 2019 by first constructing a haul road able to deliver up to 4 million tonnes per annum of coking coal to the nearest rail head at Erdenet.
From there the coal can be railed north or south to export markets.
Aspire’s strategy is to progress with low capital intensity road-based development to deliver early production
Ongoing works also aims to advance the larger-scale and longer-term Erdenet-to-Ovoot railway development
Ovoot to Erdenet and the rail line from Tavan Tolgoi to Sainshand
MRC approvals are required before the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) can be undertaken and on completion, applications for mine permits and associated approvals can be made.
The company has a continuous engagement program to keep the local communities aware of the OEDP progress while outlining the positive impacts of employment, capacity building and infrastructure.
The local district and province have decided to combine road and mine approvals at the community level into one package, which has caused a delay in the company’s planned program to complete the DFA.
The completion of the DFS is now expected before the end of calendar 2019 with the timeframe for first coal production remaining mid-2021.
READ: Aspire Mining releases positive early development PFS as markets absorb high-profile coal takeover bid
Timeline to first production
Aspire expects to be in OEDP production by quarter-two 2021 with a 15-month haul road construction period beginning in late 2019 – early 2020.
Russian – Mongolian joint venture Ulaanbaatar Tumur Zam (UBTZ) owns and manages the Mongolian rail network and on May 24, 2019, Aspire and UBTZ executed a corporation agreement.
The agreement ensures an allocation by UBTZ to Aspire of rail line capacity from Erdenet to the Mongolian – China border at Zamyn Uud.
It guarantees up to 4 million tonnes per annum of rail line capacity will be available to the company in support of its OEDP requirements.
In 2014 the company conducted initial test work on blending Ovoot coking coal and identified a substantial opportunity to value add to Tavin Tolgoi’s non-coking coal resources through blending with Ovoot’s ‘fat’ coking coal.
Tavan Tolgoi is Mongolia’s largest coking coal mine and with the OEDP now presenting near-term production, Aspire and Tavan Tolgoi’s government owner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi can take the next step in evaluating the opportunity.
Tavan Tolgoi is in the middle of an IPO process planned to occur later in the year.
Aspire is also currently forming a short list of potential international technology partners.