By MALUM NALU
A feasibility study on the world-class Yandera copper mine in Madang province, one of the largest undeveloped copper projects in the Asia-Pacific, is expected to be completed by next month, The National reports.
Developer Marengo Mining, in its latest update released this week, also announced that work was progressing on a formal construction agreement with China Nonferrous (NFC), for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to be signed by the fourth quarter of this year.
“The feasibility study is continuing in parallel with the production of information required for the various mining and environmental permits,” Marengo said in its March quarterly report.
“On March 5, 2012, the environmental inception report (EIR), which is the precursor to the environmental impact statement (EIS) was filed with the PNG Department of Environment and Conservation.”
The EPC contract will be entered into during Q4-2012, following receipt of the EPC pricing from NFC.
“Under this arrangement, Marengo will appoint NFC as the principal contractor, under a turnkey, lump sum contract which will activate NFC's role to facilitate financing for the Yandera Project, for at least 70% of the project development costs, through its nominated Chinese financial institution,” the quarterly report said.
“Marengo has engaged Standard Bank to advise in this process.”
Yandera, 95km south-west of Madang town, is hailed as a major copper producer in the making with its value underpinned by a world-class resource base at Yandera Central.
Marengo also announced:
· Drilling would continue;
· PNG government participation was anticipated ;
· Discussions were advancing with Chinese banks for project financing ;
· Standard Bank had been appointed as debt adviser ; and
· Exploration programmes were underway to target other identified mineral prospects.
According to the updated Yandera development timeline, production was scheduled to start in 2016.
This will be preceded by completion of feasibility study and fixed price EPC contract from NFC this year; mining approvals, environmental approval and complete project financing by third quarter of 2013; complete construction by third quarter of 2015; and commissioning in fourth quarter of 2015.