Asian Mineral Resources Limited

Asian Mineral Resources Limited

January 10, 2013 08:00 ET

Asian Mineral Resources Welcomes Favourable Export Tariff for Nickel Matte

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2013) - Asian Mineral Resources Limited ("AMR") (TSX VENTURE:ASN) is pleased to note that the Ministry of Finance of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has issued a circular which stipulates an export tariff of 5% on nickel matte with effect from January 1, 2013. The existing export tariff of 20% on nickel concentrates remains unchanged.

This introduction of the export tariff of 5% on nickel matte underpins the positive economics of a smelter indicated by the studies completed by AMR to-date.

Smelter Studies

As announced on July 30, 2012, AMR had commissioned RungePincockMinarco to undertake a preliminary study for a single-phase mixed sulphide smelter at the Ban Phuc nickel project. A smelting operation would substantially upgrade the planned 9.5% nickel concentrate product to a high-value mixed metal matte containing 36% nickel, 14% copper and 1% cobalt.

The study, supported by equipment supplier quotations, indicated that a single-phase smelter could be constructed for a low capital cost of A$24 million, not including technology licensing fees, and operating costs of A$50.31 per tonne of dry concentrate feed (± 30%).

The following operating metrics were considered by the study:

Dry concentrate feed 63,000 tpa
Recoveries 85-90%
Matte production 14,396 tpa
Metal contained in matte:
Nickel 5,160 tpa
Copper 2,045 tpa
Cobalt 165 tpa

In addition to the significantly reduced export tariffs, a smelter option would also substantially reduce transportation costs and leverage the low-cost hydro-power supply at Ban Phuc.

Intention to Proceed to Detailed Engineering Studies

In light of these positive developments and the continuing government support for a nickel smelter at Ban Phuc, the necessary requirements are now in place to advance with detailed engineering studies into an integrated nickel mining and smelting operation. The aim of such studies would be to undertake further engineering design for a smelter to confirm the capital and operating cost estimates to a sufficient degree of accuracy to support a decision to commence construction, and provide the basis to proceed to detailed engineering and ordering of long-lead time items.

Mr. Simon Booth, CEO of AMR stated, "We are excited at the prospects of progressing with the rapid development of a smelter for the Ban Phuc nickel project, which would enable AMR to significantly improve the economics of the project and support the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's desire to pursue in-country processing."

Construction of a nickel concentrate operation at Ban Phuc continues at full-pace. The potential to improve project economics through the addition of a smelter would be incremental to the project and does not change the mineral reserves of the project, or timing for first concentrate production, targeted for mid-2013.

Further updates will be provided once AMR has completed such studies.

The technical information in this press release was approved by Andrew Newell, who is a qualified person and independent of AMR.

Company Profile:

Asian Mineral Resources Limited is developing the Ban Phuc Nickel Project, located 160 km north-west of Hanoi in Son La Province, which is 90% owned by its subsidiary Ban Phuc Nickel Mines LLC. The development of the project is in advanced stages, with underground and surface infrastructure near completion and commercial production expected to occur by June 2013. For further details on AMR and the Ban Phuc Nickel Project, please refer to the company website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding completion of the project and the achievement of expected benefits, potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of AMR are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from AMR's expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in AMR's Annual Information Form and elsewhere in AMR's documents filed from time-to-time with the TSX Venture Exchange and other regulatory authorities. Forward‐looking statements are qualified entirely by this cautionary statement and are given only as at the date of this press release. AMR disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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

Contact Information

  • Asian Mineral Resources Limited
    Paula Kember
    Chief Financial Officer
    (416) 360-3412