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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mining firm bags new licences for two plots

Mining firm bags new licences for two plots

Mekong Minerals has successfully renewed the mining exploration licenses for two of its Cambodian tenements and expects permits on another two tenements to be granted soon, the Australian mining firm’s managing director said yesterday.

The Cambodian government has re-issued exploration licenses for Mekong’s Snoul and Phnum Khtung tenements, part of its Memot and Kratie North projects respectively. The renewed licenses are valid for up to six years.

“These are new generation licenses and we are very pleased that the government is pro-active in getting titles and exploration moving again in Cambodia,” said Anthony McClure, managing director of Mekong Minerals.

Licenses for the Preak Khlong and O’Khtung tenements – both part of the company’s Kratie South project – are expected to be granted soon.

Mekong Minerals stepped up its investment in Cambodia last June by completing its full acquisition of ASX-listed Southern Gold Ltd’s local subsidiary in exchange for a free-carried interest and royalty. Together, the two firms have invested approximately $12 million in tenements spanning 1,500 square kilometres.

Earlier this week Southern Gold announced that all conditions for the sale of its Cambodian subsidiary, Southern Gold (Asia) Pty Ltd to Mekong Minerals had been fulfilled.

“The agreement was signed months ago and now has been effected after all approvals have been met,” McClure said.

Simon Mitchell, managing director of Southern Gold, said the company’s divestment would allow it to focus its resources on developing its Cannon gold mine in Western Australia.

“Our Cambodian tenements were non-core assets receiving little attention or value from our investors. In Mekong’s hands they should move forward and represent interesting exploration plays,” he said in an announcement to the ASX.

Under the sale agreement, Southern Gold holds a 15-per cent free-carried interest in an unincorporated joint venture with Mekong until completion of a definitive feasibility study.

It is also set to receive a 2 per cent gross sales royalty until a cumulative $11 million is earned, at which point the royalty reduces to 1 per cent.

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