JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds continues to progress the mining licence application for its Tongo Dyke-1 project, in Sierra Leone, informing the market on Thursday that the application had been processed by the National Minerals Agency and was currently under review by the Minerals Advisory Board (MAB).
Public disclosure meetings had, meanwhile, been held in relation to the environmental licence application, while Stellar had submitted the environmental-, social- and health-impact assessment (Eshia).
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would now consider the final Eshia report, representatives of the company would engage with local stakeholder groups to finalise surface rental and community development agreements.
The final part of the Eshia approval process would then be the discussion and agreement with the EPA on the fees related to the granting of the environmental licence.
“Good progress continues to be made towards the approval of the mining licence for our 1.45-million-carat Tongo Dyke-1 project. While we await the formal granting of this, we are considering appropriate funding structures for the future commercial development of the mine to take advantage of the robust economics demonstrated in last year’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA), which supports the development of an openpit and subsequent underground mine.
“It is hoped that the mining licence application will be tabled by the MAB at the next available opportunity, though the timing of this is outside of Stellar’s control. As previously reported, the MAB, after due consideration, then makes its recommendation to the Minister of Mines for the approval of the mining licence,” commented CEO Karl Smithson.
The Tongo Dyke-1 project had a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource of 1.45-million carats, with a PEA having determined robust economics for an 18-year mine life.