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This remote island is sitting on US$58B of gold and copper

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BNN Bloomberg

A mining company claiming interests in copper and gold reserves estimated at US$58 billion on the Pacific island of Bougainville said its rights are under threat by efforts to revive the resource sector in the run up to a independence referendum.

At the heart of the dispute is the Panguna mine, which was operated by Sydney-listed Bougainville Copper Ltd. for 17 years before shutting in 1989 amid clashes that killed as many as 20,000 people in the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Now the company, known as BCL, is warning investors that legislation proposed by Bougainville’s government will make significant changes to its mining law, including granting powers to a new British Virgin Island-registered company to take mining leases across the island.

“These proposed bills appear to further undermine our rights under the Bougainville Mining Act,” Company Secretary Mark Hitchcock said by email. “We still assert our rights to ownership.”

Officials with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Executive Council didn’t respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment.

The changes to the mining law come as Bougainville moves toward an independence referendum as soon as this year, which may push it to seek new revenue streams to replace current subsidies from Papua New Guinea. The Panguna mine has an estimated 5.3 million metric tons of copper and 19.3 million ounces of gold, according to BCL, worth about US$58 billion at today’s prices, according to Bloomberg calculations.

When it was operating, Panguna was one of the largest mines in the world and accounted for 44 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s exports, according to BCL. Protests by communities demanding greater compensation for absorbing the impacts of the mining operation turned violent in 1989 and revitalized an independence movement, prompting BCL to shut the mine and the Papua New Guinea government to send in troops. A peace agreement in 2001 set up the region’s autonomy and paved the way for an independence vote.

The proposed legislation includes an amendment to the country’s Mining Act of 2015, which details rules and regulations as well as rights and compensation principles for landowners and communities. The proposed change would supersede the 235-page law with a 1-page section that gives all available mining rights to a new company, Bougainville Advance Mining Ltd., according to documents provided by BCL.

In a separate filing Monday to the Australian Securities Exchange, BCL also said that Bougainville Advance Mining will be 40 per cent controlled by Caballus Mining, which it said is owned by Jeffery McGlinn and “and other unknown foreign investors and sovereign states.” Caballus and McGlinn could not be reached for comment.

BCL, which has a market capitalization of about US$44 million, estimates that it would take seven to eight years and US$5 billion to US$6 billion to resume operations. Rio Tinto Group, which controlled BCL when it operated the mine from 1972 to 1989, gave away its stake in 2016, effectively abandoning the mine for no gain. That left the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville with 36.45 per cent each of BCL.

The Bougainville government denied BCL’s request to extend its temporary exploration license in January 2018, according to the company. The government argued that the company’s past operation of the mine ignited civil strife, so allowing BCL to re-open it threatens to ruin the region’s peace and unity ahead of the independence referendum, the filings show.

Bougainville may not see revenue from reopening of the mine for at least five years after first production because tax resource laws typically allow profits only after capital costs and debt repayments are recouped, said Luke Fletcher, executive director of Jubilee Australia Ltd., a non-profit that has tracked the effect of resource extraction on the economies of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville.

Resuming industrial-scale mining before a full reconciliation of the civil strife it contributed to also has the potential to rekindle resentment, he said.

“The thing about Panguna is, the community is fiercely divided about whether there should be mining or not,” he said. “It’s a tinder box.”

Lion One partners with Swiss group to install hybrid-solar-diesel power plant at Tuvatu in Fiji

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Proactive Investors

Lion One Metals Limited (ASX:LLO) (CVE:LIO) is partnering with Swiss company meeco Group to build and install a hybrid-solar-diesel power plant at the Tuvatu Gold Project on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. 

The company will be a 50% shareholder of a special project vehicle (SPV) through an agreed buy-in structure and will use meeco’s 7 megawatt (MW) solar generation system to generate up to 11 MW of power production.

24-hour source of power

Power generated from the installation will provide a continuous 24-hour source of power for the gold mine and processing plant, which will be built on 4.1 hectares of unused land.

It will have an estimated annual energy production of around 10.31 gigawatt hours (GWH) displacing more than 6,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions a year.

Clean solar-energy solution

Lion One managing director Stephen Mann said: “We are excited to partner with meeco to build a clean solar-energy solution for powering the Tuvatu Gold Project.

“meeco has a solid track record of installing and operating solar hybrid power plants worldwide.

“This hybrid system will not only reduce our carbon footprint but will enable Lion One to meet our power capacity requirements while significantly reducing fuel consumption and operating costs for the Tuvatu Gold Project.”

Fiji’s second largest gold deposit

Tuvatu is a large gold-bearing vein system hosted in the eroded remnants of the Navilawa volcano, one of Fiji’s largest hydrothermal volcanic systems and second largest gold deposit.

The latest resource estimate recorded an indicated resource of 1.101 million tonnes at 8.46 g/t gold for 299,500 ounces and an inferred resource of 1.506 million tonnes at 9.7 g/t for 468,000 ounces. 

After long slump, ‘this could be gold’s year’

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CNBC

  • Gold was stuck in a rut before it began to move up last fall, and it’s now back at $1,300 per ounce for the first time in eight months.
  • Some analysts say gold can now head to $1,400 per ounce by the end of the year.
  • Buying by scared investors, central banks and Asian jewelry buyers are helping lift prices.
Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesGold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Gold prices are hitting eight-month highs, thanks to investors looking for an alternative to stock market volatility.

Prices are also being supported by a weaker dollar and buying by global central bankers and Asian jewelry buyers.

Gold futures closed above the key $1,300 per troy ounce this week, and the February contract closed at a high of $1,308.90 Tuesday. Gold had fallen into a slump last summer and had been held back by a soft demand picture

Canadian maple leafs sit on the faces of one ounce gold coins in this arranged photograph at Gold Investments Ltd. bullion dealers in London, U.K., on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

Gold bulls slamming bitcoin this year  7:26 PM ET Tue, 29 Jan 2019 | 04:22

“This could be gold’s year,” said Suki Cooper, precious metals at Standard Chartered Bank. Since mid-November, when gold was at $1,200, it has gained about 9 percent.

Some analysts expect the precious metal to take a rest and pull back in the near term, but then continue to edge higher later in the year and head toward $1,400 per ounce towards the end of the year.

“We expect a pullback in the coming months,” said Cooper. “We think the price is more likely to make a sustained move higher in [the second half of the year]. We do see prices at $1,300 but we might see a correction.” Cooper said she expects gold to average $1,305 per ounce in 2019, but by the fourth quarter, gold should be holding firmly above $1,300.

“We think we could see an average [for Q4] of $1,325. You could start see prices trading toward $1,400 by the end of the year,” she said. Gold has not been at $1,400 since September 2013.

“We remain positive on gold,” said Jim Steel, head of precious metals at HSBC. “I think the big change that’s less spoken about is that financial market volatility is up compared to last year. If you see equity, financial market volatility, indicating a degree of investor uncertainty, that would explain why gold has become more popular in the last couple of months.”

The dollar’s recent weakness has also been a positive for the metal.

“We’re positive on gold but we’re more positive on it for 2020,” said Steel. He expects an average price this year of $1,314 and a high of about $1,350.

Steel said 23 different central banks were buyers of gold last year, and that helped support prices. Most prominent were Russia and Kzakhstan.

“They often move together because they all have these same economic rationale. If one central bank has recognized that gold is a good asset to have or to hold in its FX reserves, then it’s likely other central banks will arrive at the same conclusion and adopt a similar strategy,” he said. “Most of the countries buying have low gold reserves. those that do have a lot of gold like western Europe or the U.S., they’re not buying….We think the central bank purchases will continue on a good vein.”

The Brexit uncertainty has also helped gold, and so has the idea of trade wars.

“Geopolitical risks can be supportive of gold but they have a short life span,” said Steel. “If we were to think we’re going to have trade wars, that would be a secondary support to gold.”

“There tends to be an inverse relationship between trade flows and gold. In periods when world trade is growing quickly, gold prices tend to be low. The rationale behind that is high trade volumes usually mean low inflation, strong paper assets, strong dollar, strong equity markets,” he said.

Cooper said there has also been strong buying by gold ETFs, like the most popular SPDR Gold shares ETF GLD.

“Total ETF holding is now at its highest in six years” said Cooper. “The big structural shift was back in 2013, almost 70 percent of the holdings were concentrated in the U.S. and now we’ve seen hefty redemptions across the U.S. and continued buying in Europe, so now there’s a much more even split more like half and half.” Cooper said European buyers are more likely to be more conservative and they would hold on longer.

Asian jewelry buyers have become more active, and Cooper said Chinese consumers began buying back in December, ahead of China’s Lunar New Year, which is early next month..

“The consumer market has been somewhat lackluster and that’s normally where we look to provide support for the gold market,” said Cooper.

Antam aims to sell 30 tons of gold this year

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Jakarta Post

State-owned diversified miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) increased its gold sales target to 30 tons this year ,7.5 percent higher than last year’s achievement of 27.8 tons, president director Arie Prabowo Ariotedjo said over the weekend.

“The focus in 2019 is, of course, gold. We also aim to sell 30,000 tons of ferronickel. We are also awaiting an ore export permit,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company’s finance report shows that its gold production stood at 1.95 tons in 2018 and its ferronickel production at 24.86 tons.

In terms of facilities, Arie said the company’s nickel smelter project in Tanjung Buli, East Halmahera was set to operate in July, one month behind schedule.

The operation of the Tanjung Buli smelter will boost feronickel production with its production capacity of 13,500 tons.

Meanwhile, for the Smelter Grade Alumina Refinery (SGAR) project in Mempawah, West Kalimantan, Ario said the company had signed heads of agreement last year. He added that the company was evaluating the engineering, procurement and construction plan.

“We hope construction can kick off soon,” he said. (bbn)

Swiss developer to install 7 MW solar system at Fijian gold mine

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PV Magazine

Swiss-based clean energy provider The meeco Group is conversant in developing on and off-grid clean energy solutions for remote areas and will now spur the deployment of large and medium-scaled clean energy solutions in the island state of Fiji.

Meeco, represented by local JV  oursun Pacific Limited, will design, engineer and install a 7 MWp sun2live solar system to minimize the polluting emissions of CO² caused by the commercial utilization of fossil fuels.

The sun2live system is meeco’s solar power generation solution for grid-connected and off-grid use, comprising Tier-one solar modules, inverters and mounting systems adapted to local conditions.

The term sheet for the 7 MWp ground-mounted solar power plant was concluded with  Canadian development and exploration company Lion One Metals Limited, which will subsequently be a 50% shareholder of the SPV through an already agreed buy-in structure.

A solid gold idea

As a high-grade gold producer, Lion One Metals owns and will operate the Tuvatu Gold Project in Fiji. The Tuvatu gold mine is on the west coast of Viti Levu. To operate the mine 24 hours per day, oursun Pacific will develop, build and operate a 7 MWp sun2live solar hybrid system with diesel generators for a total production capacity of up to 11 MWp.

The sun2live system will be built on 4.1 hectares of unused land 3.5 km away from the Tuvatu Gold Project and 17 km from Nadi International Airport.

The estimated annual eco-friendly energy production of the sun2live system will be approximately 10.31 GWh and thus will displace more than 6,000 tons of CO² emissions per year.

Meeco’s intelligent energy management system – sun2safe XXL – will be installed to manage and optimize the power production and energy supply.

“The construction of the sun2live and sun2safe XXL installation, especially in that unique size, will be a flagship project for the Fiji energy roadmap, progressing the goal of the Fijian government to increase the renewable energy capacity in the country”, said Nayeem Subedar, director of oursun Pacific. “The island has abundant natural renewable energy resources but still depends heavily on imported fuels. The solar farm will have a positive and measurable impact on the Fiji environment and economy. These key attributes of the project are also expected to translate into social benefits for the people of Fiji.”

Cadia production record boosts Newcrest output

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Australian Mining

Newcrest Mining has increased production at each of its four gold mines in the December quarter.

The Cadia, Lihir, Telfer and Gosowong mines all improved on the September quarter to push Newcrest’s production 19 per cent higher to 654,849 ounces.

At Cadia in New South Wales, Newcrest delivered a record quarter with 239,470 ounces of gold and 22,838 tonnes of copper.

The company’s improved performance at Lihir (251,156 ounces) in Papua New Guinea reflected less planned downtime and higher head grades than in the September quarter.

Telfer, meanwhile, recorded an increase in production (109,049 ounces) as a result of higher productivity at the Western Australian underground mine, enabling higher mill throughout and recoveries.

At Gosowong in Indonesia, Newcrest attributed the improved production (55,175 ounces) to higher head grade and mill throughput.

Newcrest’s all-in sustaining costs (AISC) also improved by 7 per cent on the previous quarter to $720 per ounce.

The company credited the AISC result to a combination of higher production and sales, the impact of favourable exchange rates on operating costs and increased copper by product returns.

Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said the company’s first half production performance established a great platform from which to deliver strong results for the remainder of the financial year.

“Record production at Cadia and another sound performance from Lihir underpinned a strong start to the financial year, with a higher AISC margin than the same time last year despite lower gold and copper prices,” Biswas said.

Newcrest’s production guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at between 2.35–2.6 million ounces of gold.

The company expects its output will be higher in the second half of the financial year due to there being fewer planned shutdown events.

Tuvatu Gold In Mining Spotlight, Brings Big Hope At Sabeto

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Fiji Sun

Tuvatu Gold Mines remains one of the highest grade, undeveloped gold mines in the world and continues to remain in the international spotlight. Exploration activities have highlighted that gold, and by charles chambers 26 Jan 2019 10:00

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Tuvatu Gold In Mining Spotlight, Brings Big Hope At Sabeto

A drone photo of the area which is being prepared for the construction of a tunnel at the Tuvatu Gold Mines in Sabeto.

More on SUNBIZ

Tuvatu Gold Mines remains one of the highest grade, undeveloped gold mines in the world and continues to remain in the international spotlight.

Exploration activities have highlighted that gold, and possibly base metal mineralisation extends considerable distances away from the existing resource at Tuvatu in Sabeto.

Lion One Managing Director Stephen Mann, in an interview with the Fiji Sun, said that all the work completed to date reiterated that Tuvatu was a major project which Lion One hopes would be producing gold for a long time into the future.

“Lion One’s entire focus is the development of the Tuvatu Gold project,” Mr Mann said.

“To date the company has invested over $110 million dollars and the company expects to invest a similar amount over the next 18 months.

“The value of the investment does not just stop at the monies spent on this development, but ultimately includes payment to landowners, royalties, taxes, direct and indirect employment and improvements in infrastructure to help the communities, amongst other things.”

Tuvatu Gold mines sits in the upper reaches of the Sabeto mountain range between Nadi and Lautoka and is also home to the famous mountain formation of the Sleeping Giant.

The underground exploration and development of the Tuvatu Gold Mine project project was carried out by its previous owners, Emperor Gold Mines in 1997 after which a feasibility study was done and completed in 2000.

The project was acquired by Lion One Metals from Emperor Gold Mines of Australia in 2011.

Lion One holds a 200 square km exploration licence package covering the entire Navilawa volcano, with the Tuvatu mining lease at its centre.

It is 100 per cent owned, fully permitted for construction, mining and processing operations with 21-year surface lease, subject to a 5 per cent Government royalty and 3 percent export tax.

Lion One’s CEO Walter Berukoff leads an experienced team of mine builders and has owned or operated over 20 mines in 7 countries.

As the founder and former CEO of Miramar Mines, Northern Orion, and La Mancha Resources, Mr Berukoff is credited with building over $3 billion of value for shareholders.

Questions to Mr Mann:

How are operations going on at the mines?

2018 has been an exceptionally busy year for Lion One Limited. Late in 2017, Lion One awarded the civil earthworks contract to a local Fijian company (AR Quarry) to complete the civil works required for the process plant site and surface infrastructure.

This included the ROM pads, roads and general access.This work is ongoing as it has taken more time than expected due to the longer wet season early in 2018, intermittent heavy rain during the dry season, and unforeseen geotechnical issues related to the foundations.

Lion One had completed in excess of 40 geotechnical diamond drill holes into the small footprint of the plant site and was aware of a number of large boulders up to 7 metres in diameter below the soil cover.

But following the initiation of the excavation of the pads it was quickly seen that there were many more boulders than expected.

This has considerably slowed down the work programme as most of the boulders were required to be drilled and blasted to enable the pads to be levelled ready for the subsequent building construction.

Lion One has also engineered, manufactured and replaced two significant bridges along the public road to the Tuvatu Mine site to allow access for heavy equipment and safe access for all the communities and stakeholders in the area. Similarly, Lion One has diverted approximately 400 meters of public road around the plant site to ensure the highest level of security and safety when the operation commences.

The company continues discussions with the Fiji Road Authority for the upgrade of the main public road into area.

The final four kilometers of road needs significant work to ensure safe passage for people and equipment working on Tuvatu as well as tourists, villagers, logging and gravel extraction trucks, all of whom use the same access road.

In order to ensure recoveries in the process plant are optimised, further metallurgical studies have been undertaken during the year. Every additional study adds to the Company’s knowledge of this complex orebody which includes over 50 mineralised lodes.

Further mineralised lodes have been identified through the ongoing exploration activities, and as a consequence, the process plant has been reoptimised to cater for all possible ore types expected in the area.

With minor changes to grind size the Company is now confident that is can increase the process plant gold recovery even further.

Prior to 2018, the Company had designed an extremely safe and cost effective mining operation. Subsequently, due to more recent mining innovations, it has been determined that the deposit can be exploited by other methods, but still ensuring the mine is operated in the safest, environmentally friendly and economically viable manner.

Lion One contracted Perth based Entech to review the mine plan and propose changes accordingly. The operation is now planning to use predominantly mechanised equipment, and has increased proposed output to 1000 tonnes of ore per day whilst also increasing the safety aspects of the operation.

Consequently, the process plant has also been upgraded to a throughput of at least 1000 tonnes per day.

Although the change of strategy resulting from these additional and ongoing studies has delayed development for a short period, the updated engineering and mining studies will ensure the longevity to the overall operation.

Fiji does not have any commercial geochemical or metallurgical laboratory.

To date, all samples (drill core, soil and rock chip, trench and costean samples) are sent to a commercial laboratory in Australia (ALS) for geochemical analysis, at a significant cost which includes customs clearance, freight, transport and analysis.

Similarly, the turnaround time for analysis of samples sent overseas can be over a month from the time the sample is collected.

Similarly, metallurgical testwork samples are sent to either Australia or Canada.

To ensure the Company receives both geochemical and metallurgical results in a timely manner, especially once mining commences in 2019, Lion One completed the design and then commissioned a local company to build Lion One’s own onsite state of the art laboratory which will be capable of carrying out all geochemical and metallurgical testwork going forward. The laboratory is nearing completion and will be commissioned early in 2019.

The completion of the laboratory will  ensure analyses are undertaken at a much lower cost, whilst the turnaround will be one or two days, instead of weeks.

The capacity of the laboratory will enable all exploration, mine and plant samples to be processed efficiently, with spare capacity if and when the operation is upgraded.

It is intended that the laboratory will become internationally certified within the next couple of years, and will also be capable of undertaking contract work for third parties.

The Company has employed a very experienced team to operate the laboratory, and will look at further strengthening the team once mining and processing commences.

The majority of power produced in Fiji for local consumption is created from hydro, with additional power from wind, solar and contract diesel generators.

Nevertheless, the energy grid in Fiji does not have the capacity to provide the Tuvatu project with the required power to run the process plant and underground operation.

Lion One will have its own diesel power plant to supply the necessary energy for the operation. All that said, during 2018 the Company significant advanced its discussions with a European solar power company to form a joint venture to provide cheap power to the Tuvatu project.

Whilst diesel power will still be necessary in times when solar power cannot be generated, the addition of solar will significant reduce the Company’s power costs.

Mineral resources are identified over many years and due to a long process of surface exploration followed by diamond drilling.

Over the past few years, Lion One has completed approximately 30,000 meters of diamond drilling.

To ensure Lion One has access to the appropriate equipment to increase its mineral resources well into the future, the Company has purchased all the drilling assets of Geodrill, a Fiji registered company who has undertaken the majority of the drilling programmes for the Company since late in 2012.

The equipment includes an underground drill rig capable of drilling in excess of 100 meters and a surface drill rig capable of drilling over 800 meters, rods, spare parts, downhole survey cameras, downhole temperature monitors, vehicles and support trucks.

Lion One has also employed several very experienced drillers.

This strategic acquisition will ensure the Company has available, cost effective diamond drilling capabilities well into the future.

Whilst development work has progressed on many fronts throughout 2018, the Company has retained a key focus on exploration, particularly within and immediately adjacent to its 384 hectare mining lease.

The primary focus of exploration activities has been to confirm zones of high grade gold anomalism with the existing mining lease, but distinct from the main zone of mineralisation at Tuvatu.

By way of excavator cut trenches and tracks to expose the bedrock, the Company has successfully geologically mapped structures, rock lithologies and mineralised lodes up to 1500 meters to the south of the existing resource.

Numerous mineralised lodes have been identified with a peak gold value of 502 g/t Au returned from a rock chip sample adjacent, but on a separate lode to a previously returned rock chip result of 125 g/t Au.

The prospects south of Tuvatu show well developed high grade gold vein structures.

drilling in excess of 100 meters and a surface drill rig capable of drilling over 800 meters, rods, spare parts, downhole survey cameras, downhole temperature monitors, vehicles and support trucks.

Lion One has also employed several very experienced drillers. This strategic acquisition will ensure the Company has available, cost effective diamond drilling capabilities well into the future.

Whilst development work has progressed on many fronts throughout 2018, the Company has retained a key focus on exploration, particularly within and immediately adjacent to its 384 hectare mining lease.

The primary focus of exploration activities has been to confirm zones of high grade gold anomalism with the existing mining lease, but distinct from the main zone of mineralisation at Tuvatu.

By way of excavator cut trenches and tracks to expose the bedrock, the Company has successfully geologically mapped structures, rock lithologies and mineralised lodes up to 1500 meters to the south of the existing resource.

Numerous mineralised lodes have been identified with a peak gold value of 502 g/t Au returned from a rock chip sample adjacent, but on a separate lode to a previously returned rock chip result of 125 g/t Au.

The prospects south of Tuvatu show well developed high grade gold vein structures.

With more than 20 mineralised structures and extensive high grade samples, this prospect area represents excellent exploration targets.

2018 regional activities has focussed exploration and delineated a number of targets for drilling with the Company owned diamond drill rigs in 2019.

What is the latest feedback on gold deposits – is it encouraging?

All the work completed to date reiterates that Tuvatu is a major project which Lion One hopes will be producing gold for a long time into the future.

Exploration activities have highlighted that gold, and possibly base metal mineralisation extends considerable distances away from the existing resource at Tuvatu.

The Company has shown its faith in the project by committing very significant expenditures into the project in the past and planned expenditures into the future.

The construction of a world class laboratory, the acquisition of two drill rigs, and the employment of numerous additional staff reinforce the Lion One’s long term commitment.

Lion One is excited about this project and about the prospect of building a safe and environmentally friendly operation is such a supportive jurisdiction as Fiji.

How much digging has been done so far?

No direct mining has been undertaken to date. Nevertheless, the Company has local contractors onsite moving tens of thousands of tonnes of rock and dirt preparing the area for the major construction which will commence in 2019.

Specific underground mining will commence in mid-2019.

The Company has purchased most of its specialised underground mining fleet and this should arrive in country mid-year.

When do you expect to start producing gold?

The first gold bar will not be produced from Tuvatu until sometime in 2020.

It takes a significant length of time to build the complex process plant and to commence underground development prior to the first gold production.

Mining will commence this year, but the ore will be stockpiled ready for processing for when the process plant construction has been completed.

It is the intention of Lion One to have a large stockpile of gold bearing mineralised ore available when the process plant is commissioned to ensure there are no future delays due to natural causes such as cyclones.

The process plant will include three stages of crushing, and then grinding which will break the rock down to a fine powder.

The crushed rock will then be subject to a gravity circuit, flotation and leaching so that most of the gold can be extracted.

Have you since employed more workers?

The Company employs about 50 long term full time employees, and a number of casual employees.

Very recently, the Company has employed a very experienced team to run its laboratory, two very experienced drilling teams including drillers and offsiders, and an inhouse lawyer.

All these employees are local and demonstrate that Fiji can produce top class people in many fields of work.

The Company also contracts local companies for the building of the laboratory, bridges and roadwork and the site civil earthworks. In all, this accounts for a further 40 or more local employees.

The Company has a policy to employ locals wherever possible, and as a consequence has only two or three expatriate staff working permanently in Fiji.

Once underground mining commences later in 2019, the number of local staff will triple, and by the end of 2020, the Company expects to be employing between 250 and 300 local staff, as well as others through various contracts.

How are relationships with landowners?

Lion One has always prided itself with the work it has undertaken to keep the local community informed of its activities. Since the Company commenced activity in the area around 9 years ago, the Company has completed several hundred consultation meetings with the various communities, stakeholders and regulatory bodies.

The Company has retained strong ties with the local communities and employs from the immediate area as often as possible.

The Company is very appreciative of the support and interest shown by the landowners and the local communities.

Have you expanded the mine area?

Lion One is continually working to expand the potential area of its future mine activity and envisions a very long life operation in the area which will benefit all in Fiji.

That said, the immediate focus is to develop the existing resource and continually work to replace those resource as they are mined. As such, the Company sees that exploration for further resources of gold, silver and possible other minerals such as copper, lead and zinc is an integral part of its ongoing activities.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

East Asia Minerals Provides an Overview of Project Accomplishments

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Junior Mining Weekly

Vancouver, British Columbia – East Asia Minerals Corporation (TSXV: EAS) (East Asia Minerals or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an year end report and update on current exploration activities for our Sangihe gold project in Indonesia.

SANGIHE PROJECT

The technical accomplishments and developments of 2018 were as follows:

  • Completion and submission of the AMDAL Study for the Sangihe Project to the Environmental Commission in Quarter 2 of 2018. The AMDAL Study is the Indonesian equivalent of an Environmental Impact Assessment and an Environmental Management Plan for the Sangihe Project.
  • Completion and presentation in Quarter 3 of 2018, the Indonesian Feasibility Study for the Sangihe Project to the Indonesian Department of Mining, Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR). The Indonesian Feasibility Study is a multi-volume document which is the equivalent of a JORC compliant Pre-Feasibility Study for the Sangihe Project.
  • Completion and submission of amendments and clarifications to the Indonesian Feasibility Study requested by the MEMR after their review submitted in Quarter 4 of 2018.

2019 Update
At a meeting scheduled with the MEMR in January 2019, the Company will present the final version of the Indonesian Feasibility Study prior to the MEMR accepting and approving the report.

The AMDAL Study was submitted to the Indonesian Environmental Commission and is currently in the process of review and assessment.  A meeting for the recommendation of the environmental permit prior to acceptance and approval by the Environmental Commission will happen in Jan 2019.

The Company will have further updates for its shareholders in the next few weeks.

The Company’s focus is now on obtaining approvals for the Indonesian Feasibility Study (IFS) and AMDAL Environmental reports as once this is accomplished, the Company can upgrade our licence from feasibility to production.  The license upgrade will enable the Company to begin construction of the mining facilities and infrastructure at the Sangihe project. The Company anticipates making a decision for gold processing and production once approvals are received and funding is in place. The Indonesian Feasibility Study is not a Feasibility Study as defined by CIM as required by NI 43-101 but is required under Indonesian law in order to obtain a licence to construct a production facility. The Company cautions readers that the any production decision made by the Company will not be based on a NI 43-101 feasibility study of mineral reserves that demonstrates economic and technical viability and as such, there may be involved increased uncertainty and various technological and economic risks outlined in the “forward looking statement” below.

Frank Rocca, BAppSc.(Geology), MAusIMM, MAIG, Chief Geologist of East Asia Minerals Corp. is the Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 who has reviewed and approves the content of this release.

Sangihe Project

The Sangihe gold-copper project is located on the island of Sangihe off the northern coast of Sulawesi and has an existing National Instrument 43-101 inferred mineral resource of 114,700 indicated and 105,000 inferred ounces of Gold.  The Company’s 70-percent interest in the Sangihe-mineral-tenement contract of work (“CoW”) is held through PT Tambang Mas Sangihe (PTTMS). The remaining 30-percent interest in PTTMS is held by three unaffiliated Indonesian corporations. The term of the Sangihe CoW agreement is for 30 years upon commencement of the production phase of the project.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of East Asia Minerals,

Terry Filbert,
Chairman & CEO

The Company cautions readers that the any production decision made by the Company will not be based on a NI 43-101 feasibility study of mineral reserves that demonstrates economic and technical viability and as such, there may be involved increased uncertainty and various technological and economic risks outlined in the “forward looking statement” below.

Investor Information
For further information, contact:
Mark Sommer
T: 1-604-684-2183
E: info@eastasiaminerals.com
Or visit the Company’s website at www.eastasiaminerals.com

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain statements in this News Release, which are not historical in nature, constitute “forward looking statements” within the meaning of that phrase under applicable Canadian securities law. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements or information concerning future work programs, results and timing of any work programs, the Company’s performance or events as of the date hereof. These statements reflect management’s current assumptions and expectations and by their nature are subject to certain underlying assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Those risks include the interpretation of drill results; the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with our expectations; commodity and currency price fluctuation; failure to obtain adequate financing; regulatory, recovery rates, refinery costs, and other relevant conversion factors, permitting and licensing risks; general market and mining exploration risks and production and economic risks related to design and engineering, manufacturing, technological processes and test procedures and the risk that the project’s output will not be salable at a price that will cover the project’s operating and maintenance costs. Forward-looking statements should not be construed as investment advice. Readers should perform a detailed, independent investigation and analysis of the Company and are encouraged to seek independent professional advice before making any investment decision. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements to reflect events or changes in circumstances that occur after the date hereof.

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Lion One Successfully Acquires Geodrill’s Asset for Its Tuvatu Gold Project in Fiji

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Kalkine Media

On 15 January 2019, Lion One Metals Limited (ASX: LLO), a gold exploration company, announced that it was successful in purchasing the assets of the Geodrill which is a Nadi-based drilling company to provide services to its 100% owned Tuvatu Gold Project located on the island of Viti Levu in the Fiji Islands. 

Canadian miner hits record gold output at Masbate mine

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Manila Bulletin

A mine site in Masbate has recorded its highest gold production of 216,498 ounces in 2018, driving the total global production of its foreign operator, B2Gold, into an all-time high.

B2Gold, a listed mining company based in Canada, said its Masbate mine has exceeded the upper limit of its upgraded guidance range of between 200,000 and 210,000 ounces in 2018.

For the fourth quarter of last year alone, Masbate mine produced 51,555 ounces of gold, 13 percent above original budget.

The Masbate Gold Project (MGP) is located on Masbate Island in Bicol region.

Overall, B2Gold’s gold production in 2018 stood at an all-time high of 953,504 ounces, 51 percent higher than what it had in the previous year, a company disclosure to Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange showed.

This marks “the tenth consecutive year that B2Gold achieved record annual consolidated gold production,” the firm said.

In total, B2Gold recorded an annual consolidated gold revenue of $1.2 billion, a dramatic increase of 92 percent over what it had in 2017.

Right now, the company is currently expanding the operations of MGP, hoping to increase its mill output from 6.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 8 Mtpa.

This, according to the firm, will maintain its gold production at approximately 200,000 ounce per year during the mining phase and, on average, at a further 100,000 ounce per year when the low-grade stockpiles are processed at the end of the open-pit mine life.

B2Gold said the expansion will come on line early this year.

With improvements in its operation, B2Gold is also hoping to reduce its cash operation cost and all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) in MGP.

For full-year 2018, MGP’s cash operating costs are now expected to be at the low end of the reforecast guidance range of between $545 and $595 per ounce. Original guidance was pegged between $675 to $720 per ounce.

Its AISC are also expected to be at the low end of the reforecast guidance range of between $780 and $830 per ounce from original guidance of $875 to $925 per ounce.

B2Gold acquired the Masbate Mine through a merger with CGA Mining Limited in January 2013. The company now indirectly own the mine through 100 percent ownership of Philippine Gold Ltd., which owns 40 percent of Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC) and 100 percent of Philippine Gold Processing & Refining Corporation (PGPRC).

The remaining 60 percent of FRC is owned by a Philippine registered company, Zoom Mineral Holdings Inc. (Zoom).

As of now, B2Gold Corp. hold an option to acquire the interest of Zoom and to determine a new Philippine holder of the interest, in accordance with Philippine law.

For this year, B2Gold forecasts gold production of between 935,000 and 975,000 ounces, with AISC estimated at between $835 and $875 per ounce.

The company also allotted a budget of US$43 million for “aggressive exploration” focused in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

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