Liberia – ASX/JSE-listed iron ore junior Tawana Resources has provided a summary of progress made in 2015 at its Mofe Creek iron ore project. Of significant importance is the mineral development agreement, which the company is expecting a response on in the first quarter of 2016.
Mineral Development Agreement (MDA)
The company is still awaiting a formal response from Liberia’s IMCC with regard to the first pass submission of Tawana Liberia Inc.’s Mineral Development Agreement. A response is anticipated in the March 2016 quarter.
The MDA is a legally binding agreement; outlining the technical, commercial and social/environmental commitments to be undertaken to build, operate and sustain a project within Liberia, and is a legislative document passed as a bill in parliament, for a term of 25 years.
Infrastructure and logistics
On 18 May 2015, Tawana and WISCO CAD (Hong Kong) Mining Company (WISCO) signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to negotiate in good faith, a potential definitive Cooperation Agreement between the parties in relation to access and use of WISCO CAD’s port facilities in the port of Freeport, Monrovia.
WISCO and Tawana continued negotiations towards executing a definitive Cooperation Agreement. In particular the key logistics and commercial/technical terms associated with the co-export and shipping requirements of the respective companies ores, using the existing port storage, reclaim and ship loading plant and equipment, operated by WISCO are being negotiated.
Environmental and social impact assessment
On 20 October 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia approved the Scoping Report and Terms of Reference Report for an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), for the company’s Mofe Creek project.
This approval represents a key step forward in the ESIA process, and forms part of Tawana’s commitment to obtaining an Environmental Permit and Mining Licence for the project.
The approval represents the culmination of over a year’s technical and geological field work in conjunction with community and stakeholder consultative work within the project area.
Exploration – drilling
The company completed a small strategic drilling programme at the Mofe Creek project in December 2015 to test the potential DSO mineralisation targets at the newly discovered Goehn South East (SE) prospect.
The Goehn SE target is one of the company’s highest priority exploration targets within the project area. No drilling has previously been completed over this newly explored Goehn SE target, however DSO hematite mineralisation, averaging 62.8% iron and up to 66% iron has been defined at the which is located a short trucking distance to the operating port of Freeport, Monrovia.
The initial 6-hole programme for 300 m of drilling over the Goehn SE target was designed to minimise costs and focus on the most value accretive targets with significant scale potential and prepared drill access.
The company used a small diamond drill rig to undertake the programme to minimise mobilisation and operating costs, whilst maximising the attainment of value-accretive assay data, metallurgical information and geophysical/geotechnical intelligence, from the core.
Results are pending and are expected to be received in January 2016.
Annual environmental audit report and renewal permit
In November 2015, the EPA of Liberia also approved the Annual Environmental Audit Report for the southern licence (MEL 1223/14) while also granting a renewal permit for the northern exploration licence (MEL 12029).
EPA approval was granted following an independent audit of the company’s current operational activities relating to exploration activities being performed over MEL 1223/14 and MEL 12029.
Tawana’s exploration programme was deemed to be compliant in relation to the requirements of the EPA permit issuance, which ensures adherence to impact prevention or mitigation measures, as originally submitted by Tawana for EPA approval.
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