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  • Aspire Mining, Noble Group Start Coal Resource Drilling At Nuurstei

    Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) and Noble Group (SGX:N21) have commenced the 2015 exploration program at their Nuurstei Coking Coal Project in Mongolia to establish a maiden resource.

    The Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) between the two companies has budgeted a US$1.5 million spend this year on the program, which includes about 40 core and PQ diamond holes.

    Additional testwork will also be carried out with the aim of confirming coal quality across the deposit.

    Mobilisation of staff, contractors, equipment and a drill rig to site has occurred.

    A Scoping Study is also planned to be carried out, pending positive results from the program. This could in turn lead to a development decision for Nuurstei as early as next year.

    The ECJV considers Nuurstei, which has an Exploration Target of between 15 million and 25 million tonnes, to have near term development potential given its location just 10 kilometres from the Khuvsgul provincial capital of Moron and within trucking distance to the existing rail head at Erdenet.

    Aspire has an option to purchase Noble's 50% interest in the ECJV, exercisable by March 2016.

    Nuurstei Coking Coal Project

    In May, the ECJV increased its stake in Nuurstei to 90% from 60% for US$201,500.

    Besides its potential to be developed as a road based operation thanks to its proximity to the existing rail head at Erdenet, the project could also be one of the first users of the Erdenet-Ovoot railway which is being progressed by Aspire's subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC.

    Northern Railways are well into negotiations with the Government of Mongolia for a concession to allow the construction and operation of the railway.

    The project could access the railway prior to its full commissioning, as the first section of rail could be completed and available for use within two years from commencement of rail construction.

    Analysis

    Aspire Mining's drilling program at Nuurstei is likely to be closely watched given that previous work returned extremely positive results, indicating the presence of high quality coking coals.

    The 40 hole program is expected to be completed in October with resource calculations being undertaken thereafter.

    Besides the news flow from Nuurstei, the company could also have news flow relating to progress on the rail project including:

    - Securing a Rail Concession Agreement from the Mongolian Government for the Erdenet-Ovoot railway;
    - Commencement and progress of subsequent definitive financing discussions;
    - Completion of the rail bankable feasibility study;
    - Receipt of permits and other licences; and
    - EPC contract finalisation.

    Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX emerging companies with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

    Jul 29 9:09 PM | Link | Comment!
  • MZI Resources In Final Construction Steps Before Mineral Sands Production

    MZI Resources (ASX:MZI) is on the fast-track to becoming Australia's next mineral sands producer from the Keysbrook project in Western Australia.

    Keysbrook will commence commissioning in November 2015 with first sales planned for early Q1 2016.

    The project is scheduled to produce over 95,000 tonnes of leucoxene and zircon products annually.

    Under the leadership of managing director, Trevor Matthews, construction of the project remains on schedule and on budget, with 74% now complete.

    This is also one of the reasons why the share price of $0.41 is close to double where it was at the start of 2015.

    At the Keysbrook site, construction activities have moved to be predominantly focussed on the wet concentrator plant.

    The facility is well advanced, with the third level now accessible and the installation of the spiral banks that will separate the heavy mineral from the sand underway.

    Following the arrival of the thickener in early July, all equipment is now onsite and will be installed over the next few months.

    Matthews, commented: "We have entered a busy period for the project and it is great to see the construction and operations teams working together towards project completion and the commencement of operations."

    Next steps

    Delivery of MZI's new mining fleet has commenced, with all mining equipment due on site this week.

    In addition, the majority of MZI's mining operators have now commenced and are currently undergoing inductions and training.

    MZI plans to commission the new mining fleet and train the mobile equipment operators whilst undertaking mine development activities ahead of the commencement of full scale mining operations in November.

    At the Doral site at Picton, all mechanical items have now been installed and all equipment is on site awaiting construction.

    Importantly, having all equipment now on site at both plants means there is no longer any long-lead time equipment risk in the project schedule.

    Analysis

    Keysbrook is on track to commence commissioning in November 2015 with first sales planned for early Q1 2016.

    The project is scheduled to produce over 95,000 tonnes of leucoxene and zircon products annually.

    The company remains well-funded with $33.8 million in available cash at the end of June 2015, and a further A$12.8 million in available undrawn facilities.

    Next key catalyst:

    A revised resource for Keysbrook with the latest drilling data, which will be a key driver in extending the mine life and potentially providing a boost to economics.

    Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX emerging companies with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

    Jul 29 9:07 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Latin Resources, First Quantum Find New Porphyry Copper Target

    Latin Resources' (ASX:LRS) memorandum of understanding with Minera Antares Perú S.A.C. (Antares), the Peruvian subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals (NYSEARCA:FM), has resulted in the discovery of a new porphyry copper target in Southern Peru.

    First Quantum is capitalised at C$7.5 billion and has seven operating mines globally.

    The 5 kilometre circular feature was uncovered in aeromagnetic data with Andean and cross arc structures intersecting the area.

    Notably, this area of the Southern Peru copper belt is completely covered by recent sediments indicating that prior exploration was ineffective.

    Latin has since followed up with advanced surface geochemical techniques by collecting 271 soil samples over the 36 square kilometre Pachamanca prospect.

    Initial results show soil acid anomalies coincident with the buried copper porphyry target. In such environments, acid can migrate into surface soils from deeper oxidising sulphide minerals such as those that would be expected in a mineralised porphyry system.

    The target area is between 400 metres and 600 metres altitude in uninhabited desert, adjacent to the Panamerican Highway, 80 kilometres from the port of Ilo.

    Under the MoU reached in March 2015, Antares has exclusive rights to undertake exploration for 12 months within 36,430 hectares of Latin's 100% owned mining concessions in Southern Peru.

    These are considered prospective by both companies for porphyry copper deposits of significant scale.

    Chris Gale, managing director, said:

    "We have always thought that the extensive cover in the Southern Peru copper belt was a tremendous opportunity to make discoveries where past exploration may not have been effective, and this most recent collaborative work with First Quantum has given us a very large, great looking target under the desert sands to be further revealed in coming months.

    "By combining our technical strengths and applying systematic exploration methodology with First Quantum, we are well on the way to unlocking the potential of our strategic concession holding."

    Pachamanca Prospect

    The Pachamanca Prospect was selected by Latin under recommendation from Antares for follow-up field exploration from a number of preliminary targets generated from ongoing interpretations of integrated datasets.

    A 5 kilometre diameter circular feature with a donut-shaped low surrounding a central high in aeromagnetic data, Pachamanca is also intersected by interpreted Andean and cross arc structures.

    Together these features qualify as a potential large copper porphyry target in an area of the Southern Peru copper belt that is completely covered by recent sediments.

    The geology is dominated by extensive alluvial and young volcanic deposits in the low coastal ranges, obscuring the underlying rocks and any host mineralisation.

    Outcropping intrusive rocks to the immediate west of the target area together with a geomorphological assessment of the area suggest the cover may be less than 100 metres thick.

    Latin's wholly-owned subsidiary Peruvian Latin Resources SAC (PLR) has been trialling advanced geochemical methods in covered terrains in Southern Peru over the last year based on similar work undertaken in Northern Chile.

    These are based on carefully collected near surface soil samples that are subject to measurements of Hydrogen Potential (NYSE:PH), which measures acidity, and electrical conductivity (NYSE:EC) which measures salinity.

    PLR has collected 271 samples over the porphyry target area on a 400 metre by 400 metre grid.

    Analysis of the data reveals predominantly weakly alkaline soils across the target area as might be expected in such arid terrain, however a number of more acid anomalies were detected apparently associated with the porphyry target and in particular, intersections of the interpreted structures.

    Acid content is most anomalous in the northern portion of the porphyry target with multi-sample anomalies possibly associated with a prominent structural intersection.

    Extension of the grid to the north and north east, and selected infill is planned to attempt to better resolve the anomaly, and following this work, sequential partial extraction analyses of the samples are planned to measure soluble metal content that might provide additional anomalies that may provide further vectors to potential underlying mineralisation.

    Other Targets

    A number of other targets are being evaluated in ongoing data analysis by PLR and Antares and will be reported as follow up continues.

    This evaluation work also allowed for the concession areas under the MoU to be optimised at the time annual fees were due.

    Less favourable areas having very deep cover and potential land access issues were identified by both PLR and Antares and were not renewed, resulting in cash savings for Latin.

    Analysis

    The discovery of a large porphyry copper target in Southern Peru is a milestone for the collaborative exploration between Latin Resources and First Quantum.

    Soil sampling has already returned acid anomalies that appear to be associated with the porphyry target and further activity is planned in the coming months.

    A number of other targets are being evaluated in ongoing data analysis, highlighting the potential to unlock the potential of this strategic concession holding in Southern Peru.

    Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX emerging companies with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

    Jul 29 9:04 PM | Link | Comment!
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