Moreton confused over environmental decision for Granite Belt silver project
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Moreton Resources says it has received conflicting information from the Queensland government relating to the environmental approval of its Granite Belt silver project.
The junior explorer (ASX:MRV) said it was told in October last year that the State’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection had approved the plan of operations and a voluntary bond of $4.5 million.
But a notice received from the department after market close on Monday “included aspects in conflict with previous representations made to the company by the department and clarification of these matters is being sought”, Moreton told investors.
Mining companies are required to provide an environmental bond to the government as security for the rehabilitation of the area once the mine closes.
It is unclear if this will delay the commissioning of the Granite Belt project further. Moreton would not comment on the matter.
Moreton is already facing delays, with the company revealing in January that the mine, which has been in the spotlight over contamination fears, has three times the amount of pond sludge initially estimated.
In the past three months, the company’s share price has slipped back 31.3 per cent from 1.6c in November.
Granite Belt, near the town of Texas in South East Queensland, has been sitting idle since 2014 when it was abandoned after the failure of its last operator Alcyone Resources.
Since acquiring the project in 2016, Moreton has been working towards a restart of the mine.
Moreton was expecting to produce around 90,000 ounces each month by the end of January, but the company has had to reassess the situation to determine if it can still meet its operational targets.
The company has requested a trading halt until February 8, when it expects to provide more details on the matter.