Asiamet Resources Ltd (AIM:ARS, FRA:0FK, OTC:KMGLF) said it has faced many challenges from the impact of Covid-19 in Indonesia but is making “substantive progress” on the development of the BKM copper project.
The project, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, has been affected by a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections across the country, with a series of lockdowns and extensive travel restrictions implemented
A number of staff and contractors have been affected, Asiamet said, with travel restrictions also slowing progress on various workstreams.
Value engineering activities are progressing to plan, the company said, as it reviews and runs new economic models for the BKM project based on new estimates in a first-pass detailed report received from consultants NewPro, which provides capital and operating cost estimates for both tank-leach and copper rich pyrite concentrate processing options compared with the heap leach option in the 2019 Feasibility Study.
While mobilisation of equipment for site preparation and drilling has been delayed due to local coronavirus restrictions, Asiamet said it has started the drilling program with the first hole of a 3,000 metre program completed.
Progress was also reported on obtaining a project development partner, with five high-calibre investors having signed non-disclosure agreements and at various stages of due diligence, with the aim of reaching a deal to see the project funded through to construction.
Discussions with several European and Asian mining finance banks were also reported, with initial feedback “positive”.
“While we have had some very real challenges with COVID 19 impacts in Indonesia, Asiamet is very pleased with the substantive progress being made on its development path for the BKM copper project,” said executive chairman Tony Manini.
“With a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors as our first priority, financing and development related activities are continuing at pace and closing in on a number of important project enabling milestones.”
“Drilling underway to expand the BKM and BKZ Resources is expected to demonstrate the potential for significant production growth and mine life upside at this important time for project financing and partner discussions. We look forward to keeping stakeholders updated on our progress at this exciting time for the company.”