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Thursday, 23 May 2013
UPDATE: EMED Mining on-track for commissioning by mid-2014
--Adds broker comments--
EMED Mining (LON:EMED) (TSE:EMD) told investors that the proposed restart of the Rio Tinto mine is still on track.
It said that production commissioning from the first mine is scheduled to start in mid-2014, and the operation will ramp up for a further 18 months after that.
The company also confirmed that the pending environmental sign off, in respect of the tailings management facilities, will be subject to the same conditions set out for the ‘administrative standing’ last month by the department of industry.
EMED said it has completed the design work to satisfy those conditions, following reviews with the regulators and the government’s independent experts.
The two key sign offs are now on a ‘revised path’, the company said, and they are expected before the end of the third quarter.
According to City broker SP Angel, Thursday’s statement suggests EMED has now met the final conditions to ensure base-line production.
“While this news is positive to the extent that the tailings conditions have been met there will be disappointment that the time line for permitting has slipped,” the broker, which rates EMED as a ‘buy’, said in a note.
In the meantime, EMED plans to carry out site ‘housekeeping’, including personnel training, starting in the third quarter.
"We are immensely pleased that the government has, through its actions, reiterated its policy commitment to the restart,” said managing director Harry Anagnostaras-Adams.
“The Andalucian government's two regulatory authorities which issue the key permits required for construction, have now confirmed the same conditions will be applied to the tailings management facility, to serve both their environmental and economic agendas in a complementary and integrated manner.
"Environmentally, the conditions make the plan safer, allow progressive environmental restoration during operations and avoid the premature disturbance of more land.
“Economically, the conditions preserve the base case for production and, in due course, will also serve expansion scenarios after the refinements have been optimised in the field during operations.
"The company and the authorities will continue to adjust the timetable for permitting and start-up activities to ensure site activities escalate in a prudent sequential manner that is in line with regulatory permitting and to start commissioning production in mid-2014."
On AIM in London trade, EMED shares were down 15% on Thursday changing hands at 6.88 pence.