Aspire Mining’s Mongolian rail subsidiary, Northern Railways, has received a formal letter from the Mongolian government confirming that a multidepartmental working group has been established to negotiate a rail concession for the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway. The letter was received from the Mongolian Investment Agency, which is the body charged with negotiating concession agreements, and is in accordance with a cabinet resolution.
The working group comprises representatives from the Ministries of Roads and Transportation, Environment, Finance and Investment Agency. In accordance with the resolution, the working group has invited Northern Railways to commence a direct negotiation around the terms and conditions for the Rail Concession Agreement along with a request for draft agreements to consider.
In order to support the granting of the concession agreement to Northern Railways, the company has entered into a consortium agreement with China Railways Construction Corp. subsidiaries, China Railways 20 Bureau Group Corp. and China Railways First Survey & Design Institute Group. This agreement provides Northern Railways with an exclusive license to use patented intellectual properties, which will be required to design and construct the railway.
Aspire, which has its corporate office in Subiaco, Western Australia, is progressing development of its wholly owned Ovoot coking coal project in northern Mongolia. The Ovoot project currently has a probable JORC compliant coal reserve of 255 million mt of coking coal. The company said it has considerable room to grow further from future exploration activities.
Aspire has announced that the Ovoot project is ready to move into a definitive feasibility study and development, having completed two prefeasibility studies, received a mining license, and approval from the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia for its Mongolian feasibility study. At full production, the Ovoot project is capable of producing up to 10 million mt/y of premium quality coking coal to be supplied to Asian, and Eastern European coking coal markets.
Development of the project is underpinned by the construction of railway infrastructure from the project connecting to the Trans-Mongolian Railway at Erdenet in northern Mongolia. The advancement of this infrastructure element for Mongolia is being driven by Northern Railways LLC.