Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) said its Leigh Creek Copper Mine (LCCM) has been granted conditional approval for its Programme for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation on the Paltridge North deposit.
The Australian energy department gave the go-ahead subject to several items to be reviewed plus a deposit of A43.7mln and payment of A$81,000 to a native vegetation fund.
SML said that the conditions associated with the approval were expected and reflected in LCCM’s application.
The bond requirement is larger than catered for in the company’s financial modelling, it added, but is comfortable given the level of funding being sought to restart production and especially given the boost to likely profitability from the recent increase in the copper price and US/A$ exchange rate.
John Peters, SML’s managing director, said: “The conditional approval of the PEPR was as expected and is an important milestone in restarting full-time production at the Mountain of Light plant at Leigh Creek.
“Work will begin on fulfilling the conditions, some of which are already underway, and the company will report on its plans in due course.
” Increased forecasted Project profitability and planned exploration has significantly improved the Project’s attractiveness and is assisting attempts to secure funding, especially as planned facility repayment is forecast to occur within two years of drawdown.”