Joint working group concludes its assessment of proposed site for heap leach processing facility, production deadline extended and Lydian commences geotechnical drilling, design works and trade-off studies.
TORONTO, Ontario, October 15, 2013 – Lydian International Ltd. (TSX: LYD) (“Lydian” or “the Company”), a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company, today announced that the working group formed by the Government of the Republic of Armenia has concluded its assessment of the Company’s latest proposed location for a heap leach processing facility at its Amulsar gold project and the Armenian Government has given the Company its preliminary endorsement for the proposed location.
The working group was formed by the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia in order to discuss issues related to the proposed location of heap leach processing facility, and was comprised of senior representatives from the Company and the Armenian Government, including representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Nature Protection, the Ministry of Urban Development and the State Committee of the Real Estate Cadastre. On October 8, 2013, the working group concluded that the Company’s most recently proposed location for its proposed heap leach processing facility was suitable and that this location does not conflict with national laws and regulations. As a result, the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Company have agreed that the site is acceptable for both parties, with surmountable regulatory requirements clearly stated in the final protocol of the working group.
Minister Vache Gabrielyan, the Armenian Government’s Head of Staff, commented “We consider the results achieved by the working group as an important milestone in the full-scale development of the Amulsar project. We are hopeful that the mode of cooperation achieved in the working group will induce the Amulsar project to pick up further steam”.
In addition, the Company announces that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) has extended the deadline for the completion of the Company's open pit construction and capital mining works to September 26, 2018 (Order 156-A of the MENR on September 25, 2013, and the validity has been extended until April 3, 2040) and has executed an official geotechnical exploration agreement (Licence provided on September 20, 2013 for two years by Order 154-A of the MENR) for the new heap leach processing facility site.
Local communities have been informed about recent developments of the Amulsar project; in particular, the need to look for a new site for the Company’s planned heap leach processing facility. A number of focused and informative meetings took place during the last three months, in particular with the local workforce, the social projects committees (CLC) and community leaders. Management of the Company believes that the feedback that it received from members of the local communities on the new proposed location of the facility is positive, with evidence of continuous support for the Amulsar project. With the positive outcome of the working group, public consultation events are expected to be organised in the coming weeks in order to satisfy permitting requirements and meet international best practices.
Marc Leduc, Lydian's Chief Operating Officer said “The new proposed facility will be located four kilometres southwest of the previous proposed facility and seven kilometres from the pits and is a potentially good valley fill. The valley has ample capacity for ore stacking and realizing the blue-sky potential of the project. We expect that the final design will incorporate a number of cost saving features, such as the use of trucks rather than conveyors to stack the ore on the pad and less required earthworks. These and other planned changes are anticipated to reduce capital and operating costs with the goal of ensuring that the Amulsar project remains one of the premier development gold projects in the world.”
The Company is also pleased to announce that it commenced geotechnical drilling and trenching of the proposed valley-fill site on September 30, 2013. The Company anticipates that all work required for a feasibility level study of the valley-fill site will be completed by the end of November 2013. With the assistance of Golder and Samuels Engineering, the Company has commenced trade-off studies, examining alternatives for crushing, conveying and waste rock placement and handling. The Company intends to undertake a review of the preferred options in the fourth quarter of 2013, leading to an updated feasibility study in the second quarter of 2014.
The Company plans to resume its permitting process in the fourth quarter of 2013 and, as part of this process, aims to complete the required environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) in the second quarter of 2014.
For a brief comment by Tim Coughlin on Lydian's press release today, follow this link.
Marc Leduc, P.Eng, Chief Operating Officer of the Company, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this release.
About Lydian International
Lydian is a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company with expertise employing “first mover” strategies in emerging exploration environments. Currently Lydian is focused on Eastern Europe and, in particular, developing its flagship Amulsar gold project in Armenia. Lydian also has a pipeline of promising early-stage gold and base metal exploration projects in the Caucasus regions.
Lydian’s management team has a track record of success in grassroots discovery, in acquiring and developing undervalued assets, and in building companies. Lydian has a strong social agenda and a unique understanding of the complex social and political issues that characterise emerging environments. The Company’s significant shareholders include the International Finance Corporation which is a member of the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. More information can be found on Lydian’s web site at www.lydianinternational.co.uk.
Caution regarding forward-looking information:
This news release may contain certain information that constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterised by words such as “plan,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur and include statements regarding the Company’s intended planned exploration. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, mine site planning and development, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, permitting and licensing and other factors described above and in the Company’s most recent annual information form under the heading “Risk Factors”, which has been filed electronically by means of the Canadian Securities Administrators’ website located at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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