Under Mongolian minerals law, the mining licence offers a 30-year tenure with the potential for two 20-year extensions.
Aspire says the extended certainty of tenure will greatly assist its efforts to receive financing for the mine and the related road and rail infrastructure.
The remote nature of Ovoot presents some infrastructure challenges and has prompted Aspire to engage in advanced planning and transport feasibility studies.
In June the company received government approval for the alignment of a sealed road from Ovoot to the regional capital of Moron which would support project development, construction and initial coal haulage.
Work is currently being undertaken on various trucking-based coal operations prior to accessing future rail infrastructure required for full development of the mine.
An independent review of a June rail study, however, found a direct non-Moron route would save $US188 million.
The recently awarded mining grant covers both Ovoot’s planned open pit and the possible underground operation considered a possibility northeast of the project’s main deposit.
Ovoot is the third largest coking coal reserve in Mongolia, according to the company and is capable of producing 153 million tonnes of high-quality coking coal over a 15-year mine life.
The project is targeting a large-scale open pit operation with production of 10-12 million tonnes per annum of saleable coking coal at full capacity.
Production is expected to begin in 2016.