Viking plugs away in Mongolia

TAKEOVER target Auminco Mines has started the ball rolling on a baseline environmental study on the Berkh Uul bituminous coal project in Mongolia on the path to applying for a mining licence.

Anthony Barich

Mongolia-based group Sustainable Environmental Consulting has been engaged to do the study by unlisted Auminco, which is currently the subject of a takeover offer by Viking Mines.

Yesterday Viking said acceptances were above 97% and unconditional.

The Berkh Uul project, in the Orkhon-Selege coal district 200km east of Darkhan City, is within 40km of rail access to the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway, which provides a transport link to Darkhan to the south and Russia to the north.

The baseline study will involve collection of information on regional and local environmental aspects including air quality, water studies, flora and fauna biodiversity, landscape, noise and dust, plus social aspects including land utilisation, socioeconomic conditions, cultural heritage and a survey of local inhabitants.

The study, which starts this week and is due for completion in two months, will also provide baseline environmental and social data for the planned Berkh Uul feasibility study.

The project has a JORC indicated and inferred coal resource estimate of 38.3 million tonnes, of which 21.4Mt is classified as indicated and 16.9Mt as inferred.

Besides Berkh Uul, Auminco also holds the Khonkhor Zag anthracitic coal project in the Trans-Altai coal basin in southwest Mongolia’s Govi-Altai province, the early-stage Buduun project in Western Mongolia’s proven hard coal province of Khovd, the Central Mongolian Dalt and Budargana coal projects in the Dundgovi province and the Tsairt zinc joint venture project in eastern Mongolia’s Sukhbaatar province.

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