Emerald Resources NL (EMR) (‘Emerald’) is pleased to announce that it has signed an Environmental Contract with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, providing environmental approval for the 100% owned Okvau Gold Project.
The terms of the Environmental Contract are in accordance with Emerald’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (‘ESIA’). These terms include commitments by Emerald to make various annual contributions to Environmental and Social Funds established for the benefit of local communities and ongoing environmental management.
These amounts were included in Emerald’s DFS released in May 2017. In addition, Emerald is required to provide surety to the Cambodian Ministry of Environment (‘MoE’) for rehabilitation of the Okvau Gold Project upon closure. This surety will be provided progressively over 5 years and was also provided for in Emerald’s ESIA. The Okvau Gold Project is situated within the Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary. Under the Environmental Contract the MoE will undertake to rezone the project area from ‘Conservation Zone’ to ‘Sustainable Use Zone’.
Emerald may now progress final stages of its application for an Industrial Mining Licence. With the Environmental Contract approved, Emerald expects an Industrial Mining Licence (covering 11.5km2) to be granted by the Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy in the next few weeks.
The final step will be the finalisation of a Mineral Investment Agreement (‘MIA’). The MIA is an agreement Emerald has requested to provide long term certainty and is not required for the development and operation of the Okvau Gold Project. Emerald is in discussions with the Cambodian Ministry of Economy & Finance regarding the finalisation of the MIA.
Emerald is currently progressing due diligence with a mandated debt financier. Emerald expects this due diligence will be competed in the coming weeks. Subject to approval of the indicative terms, the financing proposal will see a majority of the development costs of Okvau Gold Project being funded.
Emerald, Managing Director, Morgan Hart commented: “The award of the Environmental Approval and signing of an Environmental Contract with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment is a significant advancement in the development of the Okvau Gold Project. The Emerald team has worked tirelessly with representatives of the MoE to agree an ESIA that ensures the sustainable development of the project whilst safeguarding the environment and adequately compensating affected stakeholders. This contract now allows the remaining licensing to advance in a timely manner.”