Myanmar Metals hones its focus on Bawdwin approvals, completing feasibility study
Special Report: Myanmar Metals has plenty of cash in the bank and is continuing to progress regulatory approvals and feasibility study work for its Bawdwin polymetallic mine.
The company said that while it has a strong cash position of $16.6m, it has decided to suspend the ER Valley drilling campaign until the next dry season and set exploration at the Locrian gold project to a minimum.
Myanmar Metals (ASX:MYL) says the decision was made to preserve its funds through what could be a prolong period of global financial market uncertainty.
Regular travel in and out of Myanmar for joint venture meetings has also been suspended due to travel restrictions, though the company has established alternate means of communications with its partners and onsite personnel.
Myanmar Metals added that assays from drilling that had been completed at ER Valley would arrive over the coming weeks and would be analysed, collated and announced shortly after.
The company will then update its geological interpretation and start planning for its follow-up drilling campaign.
Additionally, the Bawdwin joint venture (Myanmar Metals 51 per cent) has been progressing the negotiation of a new production sharing agreement (PSA) with Mining Enterprise No 1 (ME1), a division of Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
This includes the application for a 50-year mining tenure over the historically significant mine.
Once the terms of the PSA have been agreed by all stakeholders, it will be supplied to the Myanmar Investments Commission for the purpose of securing a foreign investment permit.
Myanmar Metals noted that while it’s goal was to secure the permit during the second quarter of 2020, disruptions to ordinary business activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could delay the permitting process.
The company also noted that its feasibility study consultants had completed their in-country work and had not been affected by recently imposed travel restrictions.
“Myanmar Metals has taken prudent and necessary steps to respond to this global pandemic,” executive chairman John Lamb said.
“We are in a strong financial position and we intend to push hard to deliver key project milestones in the coming months.”
The Bawdwin mine in the northern Shan state has a current resource of 101 million tonnes grading 4 per cent lead, 3.1 ounces per tonne (Oz/t) silver, 1.9 per cent zinc, and 0.2 per cent copper.
Prior to becoming the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover – who was just a mine engineer then – helped turned Bawdwin into the greatest mine in the British Empire in the late 1920s.
However, production never recovered after it was destroyed during World War 2, rebuilt and subsequently nationalised by the Myanmar government.
Myanmar Metals is now looking to bring this polymetallic mine back into production by late 2022, starting with an initial starter pit that could be followed by two further phases of open cut mining, which could provide for decades of mining.
And there could be more, with exploration across Bawdwin indicating that mineralisation remains open in all directions.