Focussed on redeeming the exploration potential of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project (OCCP) situated in northern Mongolia, Aspire Mining Limited undertook significant activities bolstering fast venture into commercial production in the shortest possible time frame once it has been granted the access to the OCCP. Making headway, piggybacking the lucrative growth prospects and its strategic orientation, the company is lurking in the winds to kickstart its commercial production of coking coal at the flagship OCCP.
Meanwhile, the Australian-listed explorer has also been committed towards the completion of the Definitive Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA) and is focussed on advancing the local community engagement. While the COVID-19 restrictions obstructed the flow of operations, the Company channelled its efforts in the strategic direction that could aid in the upcoming activities of the project With this backdrop, here are some of the recent events that are catalyzing Aspire Mining’s exploration potential in the coal-fertile lands of Mongolia.
Operational and Financial Planning
Although the necessary community consultation meetings with the Mongolian Government imposing restrictions in response to COVID-19 include bans on large gatherings, the Company formulated a new detailed operating plan, budget and financial model for evaluation as well as for Board, financing and development decisions.
Furthermore, Aspire Mining has been substantially engrossed in undertaking further work directed at the evaluation of the phased development plan scenarios, with the objective to reduce upfront capital cost along with minimising logistics chain risk. The Company indicated that the recent development would accelerate its further process, aiding it to get into commercial production as quickly as possible once granted access to the OCCP.
Additionally, post the completion of its plan and budget premised on first principles, Aspire investigated the baseline assumptions viz-a-viz transportation equipment and mining equipment for further improvement. It has untapped opportunities for more detailed evaluation, which would include proven and low-cost mine and trucking solutions from Tier 1 manufacturers. Furthermore, the deployment of truck-trailer combinations on the road would also be included through the utilisation of increased gross combination mass for enabling substantial safety, economic, environmental and community benefits.
Advancing Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA)
Targeting to gain the necessary approvals for furthering the Ovoot Early Development plan (OEDP) Definitive Feasibility Study, Aspire continues to pursue productive engagement with the local Tsetserleg soum Government as well as communities where the OCCP is stationed. For DEIA, Aspire is eyeing the approval from the Ministry of Environment, which is yet awaited. Significantly, it includes stakeholder information sharing and engagement, ethnological surveys, flora and fauna surveys, and social impact assessments
In June 2020, a preliminary draft of the DEIA was prepared and disseminated amongst relevant stakeholders. However, the Company indicated that in response to the COVID 19 threat, the Government has continued to prohibit public gathering deferring community meetings, which are deemed necessary before it submits the DEIA to the Ministry of Environment.
Focused on Special Purpose Road Development
The OEDP consist of an open-pit development of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project in conjunction with trucking washed coking coal up to 4 million tonnes per annum along a 560-kilometre special-purpose road through to the nearest railhead located at Erdenet. Khuvsgul airmag government earlier studied the Mogoin Gol (Ovoot) to Erdenet road alignment and also incorporated it in the airmag’s 2030 Road Development Plan. Having gained the approval, the Company now needs final Ministry approval for the alignment and completion of the definitive engineering study.