Drilling commences, Feasibility Study and permitting progresses and EBRD and IFC delegations complete site supervisory visit
TORONTO, Ontario, June 18, 2013. Lydian International Ltd. (TSX: LYD) (“Lydian” or “the Company”), a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company, presents an operations update for its Amulsar Gold Project, Armenia.
Drilling has now commenced at Amulsar with one reverse circulation drill-rig and one diamond drill-rig aiming to complete a total 20,000 meters of combined resource conversion, resource expansion and exploration drilling at the project this year. The drill program has been optimised and reduced from an initially proposed 40,000 meter program (see Press Release January 14th) but now includes a high-performance reverse circulation drill-rig and accompanying compressor with the capacity to exceed 200 meters of drilling a day and drill deep holes exceeding 450 meters in depth. The Amulsar project remains variably open along-strike and entirely open at-depth with significant potential deemed to exist beneath all prospect areas. This high-performance drill-rig will ensure that the depth potential of the Amulsar project is better revealed this year.
The updated feasibility study comprising the new proposed mine layout is on-track for completion early Q3 and permitting is progressing with relevant ministries and other authorities well informed and fully engaged.
Delegates from two of Lydian’s strategic shareholders, the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”; member of the World Bank Group) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”) conducted a site supervisory visit to the Amulsar project from June 3-7. The teams consisted of Environmental, Social-Development, Geology, Mining and Finance specialists. They held working meetings with operations staff, met with relevant ministries in Armenia and visited the Amulsar site and the surrounding communities. The overall purpose of the visit was to review Lydian’s progress towards meeting Equator Principle requirements. The Equator Principles are a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects and are primarily intended to provide a minimum due diligence standard for these institutions before they elect to provide project finance.
Following the supervisory visit, Jack Mozingo, Principal Environmental Advisor at EBRD said; “The EBRD is committed to ensuring that its clients meet the highest standards of environmental and social performance. We are encouraged that Lydian are consulting with stakeholders and undertaking extensive studies as it prepares an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Amulsar Mine development. We very much appreciated the opportunity to observe their ongoing activities this week, and we received valuable information in our meetings with national and local authorities and with NGOs. We look forward to reviewing the ESIA to verify it meets the requirements of our Environmental and Social Policy, and we look forward to the extensive public consultations the company is planning following disclosure of the ESIA in the coming months”
Robin Weisman, Principal Investment Officer at IFC said; "The IFC chooses its clients, such as Lydian, in the mining industry very carefully. The most important criteria are the company’s commitment to following good environmental and social standards. This is something that we monitor regularly with visits such as the one last week in Armenia. We have been impressed by the social programs Geoteam is supporting even at this early stage. We now look forward to the company's full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) that will allow all stakeholders to have a discussion on the risks and benefits of the project in an informed manner".
Lydian remains committed to meeting the environmental and social standards and requirements set by the IFC, EBRD and to meeting Equator Principle requirements. The Company aims to develop an exemplary mining operation in Armenia.
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.
For further information please contact:
+44 (0)1534 715473
+44 (0)7797 742800