Wednesday, 18 September 2013

UPDATE: Lydian brings on board highly experienced COO; provides encouraging update on Armenia project

Lydian International (TSE:LYD) has unveiled the appointment of a highly experienced chief operating officer alongside an encouraging update on plans for the processing plant and heap leach facilities of its flagship Amulsar project in Armenia. 
New hire Marc Leduc is a mining engineer and geologist with experience in “all aspects of the development, operations, planning and evaluation of mining projects”, the company said. 
He has led technical teams in the design, operation and construction of large mines, heap leach (including valley-fill heap leach) and tailings facilities in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile and Peru. 
And he has also worked in the area of complex metallurgy, site water management, heap planning and has used innovative solutions to solve environmental concerns at different sites around the world. 
So his experience will be vital in bringing the world-class Amulsar deposit into production.
Chief executive Tim Coughlin said: "We are very pleased to welcome Marc to the team. Marc brings extremely valuable valley-fill heap leach, mining, metallurgical and environmental experience to the company. 
“In his new role he will have the responsibility for achieving the company's operational objectives, including finalising the company's evaluation and implementation of important planned modifications to earlier site designs at Amulsar, including with respect to the location of the company's planned heap leach processing facility and the related reconfiguration and optimisation of its mine design."  
Separately, Lydian said a working group consisting of representatives from the company and the Armenian government have identified a potential site for a heap leach and gold processing facility for the miner’s flagship Amulsar mine. 
The search for a new site was prompted by government resolution 749-N, which modified the Lake Sevan Immediate Impact Zone to include the horizontal zone three kilometres on each side of the Vorotan-Sevan Water Tunnel in the country.
The site is seven kilometres away from the planned open pits.  Initial conceptual design of the ‘valley-fill’ heap leach has been prepared and shared with the working group, Lydian said. 
Final feasibility design of this new facility is subject to further engineering, geotechnical and environmental and social impact studies, it added.
Speaking to Proactive Investors, Coughlin highlighted the importance to the firm of finding the new facility.
"We were worried about not being able to find somewhere. We've got somewhere," he said.
"There's nothing like a working group to bring two parties together."
He added: "Our view is that this is not going to be cost-preclusive in any way because even though it's a bit further away we will be doing the some fairly detailed optimisation studies and adjusting the layout accordingly."
The company boss added that a valley-fill heap leach rather than a conventional one offered a "more pleasing" closing solution as it can be left filled with grass contoured over it.
Earlier he told investors: "We remain committed to developing this outstanding new gold discovery and seeking to resolve issues with the government.
"The impact of the resolution has forced changes to the development of Amulsar, but will not in any way compromise the company's commitment to sustainable development and implementing industry best practice. 
“The preliminary economic assessments currently underway will review alternative mine designs and revisit and optimise mine construction and operating costs."

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