Dart Mining commences environmental approvals process for Unicorn molybdenum project
The well-funded Dart Mining (ASX: DTM) continues to advance the Unicorn molybdenum, copper and silver project in North East Victoria, and has now officially commenced the environmental approvals process - with a written referral submitted to the Minister for Planning.
Unicorn is a potentially long life molybdenum, copper and silver porphyry mine.
Today's commencement of the environmental process and will be a key plank of the Unicorn PFS, due in first quarter of 2014.
The project has high grade from surface and outcrops, with a very low strip ratio. The plan would be to export in containers – truck to Albury / train to Melbourne Port.
Dart recently held a community engagement meeting with over 100 residents in attendance. There was also a focus group meeting held with Bunroy / Biggara residents, with a similar meeting planned for Thowgla Valley.
Environmental approval process
The first step of the environmental approval process is the submission of a formal referral to the Minister for Planning requesting a decision on whether an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) is required for the Unicorn Project.
This referral document has been submitted and the Victorian Government has 20 business days in which to respond.
Lindsay Ward, managing director, commented: “Dart Mining is very encouraged by the support it is receiving from various Government departments and the submission of the referral marks another key step along the path towards bringing Unicorn into production.
"Dart Mining has been working closely with its various strategic partners, in particular GHD, in completing the formal referral and we look forward to a quick turnaround from the Minister for Planning.”
An EES is required when a proposed project could potentially have significant environmental effects.
In order to prepare the EES referral, Dart Mining engaged experienced specialists to undertake investigations covering tailings management, water supply, process plant design, power supply route, mining methodology, flora and fauna, cultural heritage and planning.
Dart has been proactive in establishing contact and engaging with regulatory authorities early in the approvals process, including arranging a site visit for representatives from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, held in July 2013.
Should an EES be required for the project, which Dart said is expected, the company would be well-placed to efficiently prepare an EES due to the review work and community liaison that have already been undertaken, and will continue to be undertaken over the coming months.
During the June quarter 2013 Red Kite, the U.S. metal merchant with around $3.5 billion under management, completed its first tranche payment of $5.3 million and become a 4.5% shareholder. Red Kite will invest up to $10 million in Dart Mining.
Dart is making solid progress is being made on meeting the key criteria to secure the second tranche of Red Kite funding of $4.7 million by late 2013.
At the end of the June quarter Dart had over $5.7 million in cash. An additional ATO R&D refund of $880,000 is pending.
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