TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2013) - Lydian International Limited. (TSX:LYD) ("Lydian" or the "Company"), a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company makes the following announcement in respect of its joint Working Group with the Government of the Republic of Armenia.
Government Resolution 749-N which modified the Lake Sevan Immediate Impact Zone to include the horizontal zone 3000m on each side of the Vorotan-Sevan Water Tunnel (see Press Release 24th July) was promulgated on the 3rd of August 2013. The Law on Lake Sevan prohibits the allocation of mineral processing facilities in the Immediate Impact Zone. The effect of this and earlier modifications was to prohibit processing on sites previously identified. There are no restrictions on mining, crushing and milling within the Immediate Impact Zone.
Lydian's previously revised Amulsar gold processing facilities are located within the newly defined Immediate Impact Zone.
The Government of the Republic of Armenia and Lydian have established a joint Working Group to
- review the implication of Resolution 749-N on the Amulsar operation
- to explore alternative heap leach and gold processing facilities; and
- to propose a mutually acceptable solution to the current situation
The Working group consists of senior representatives from the Company and from the Armenian Government including the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Nature Protection, the Ministry of Urban Development and the State Committee of the Real Estate Cadastre.
The Working Group have held regular meetings since July 31st, 2013 and have visited Lydian's Amulsar site. The Working Group have located a new potential valley-fill heap leach and gold processing facility for Amulsar which is situated approximately 7km away from the current pits. Initial conceptual design of the heap leach has been prepared and shared with the Working Group. Final feasibility design of this new facility is subject to further engineering, geotechnical and environmental and social impact studies.
Lydian expects to commence geotechnical drilling and environmental and social baseline studies at the new proposed site. The Company expects to commence preliminary economic assessments of potential new mine designs this month and to resume the environmental approvals process and revision of the feasibility study in the fourth quarter of this year.
"There has been positive engagement and interaction within the joint Working Group following successive changes to the Lake Sevan Immediate Impact Zone. We remain committed to developing this outstanding new gold discovery and seeking to resolve issues with the Government" said Tim Coughlin, Lydian's President and CEO; "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."
About Lydian International
Lydian is a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company with expertise employing "first mover" strategies in emerging exploration environments. Currently Lydian is focused on Eastern Europe and, in particular, developing its flagship Amulsar gold project in Armenia. Lydian also has a pipeline of promising early-stage gold and base metal exploration projects in the Caucasus regions.
Lydian's management team has a track record of success in grassroots discovery, in acquiring and developing undervalued assets, and in building companies. Lydian has a strong social agenda and a unique understanding of the complex social and political issues that characterise emerging environments. The Company's significant shareholders include the International Finance Corporation which is a member of the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. More information can be found on Lydian's web site at www.lydianinternational.co.uk.