Gubong Project ‘Permit to Develop’ Approved
- Development approval received by the Gubong Joint Venture company
- Formal documentation from regulators to be received in coming week
Southern Gold Ltd (Southern Gold) has been advised by its Joint Venture partner, London listed Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (Bluebird), that it has received confirmation that the Permit to Develop for the Gubong Gold Mine has been approved by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). Formal documentation relating to the approval will be received from MOTIE over the next few weeks.
It is Southern Gold’s understanding that this is the first Permit to Develop issued to a foreign operator since Indochina Goldfields (which changed name to Ivanhoe Mines in 1999) received its approval for the Eunsan gold deposit in the late 1990’s.
Southern Gold and Bluebird each hold a 50% equity interest in Singaporean company Gubong Project JV Co Ltd which in turn holds 100% of South Korean company Gubong Project Co Ltd which holds the Gubong gold development project. Joint Venture costs are shared 50/50 while Bluebird is responsible for day to day operations.
A similar corporate joint venture arrangement is in place for the Kochang Project which is currently still in the approval process for its Permit to Develop. An update on the status of this project will be provided as soon as notification is received from regulators, expected over the coming months.
Southern Gold Managing Director, Mr Simon Mitchell:
“This is a very important milestone for the Joint Venture, and I congratulate Bluebird as operators in securing the Permit to Develop for Gubong, the first in many years for a foreign operator, at least as far as we are aware. This approval paves the way for the Joint Venture to take the Gubong project forward and target first gold pour in 2020, another very important milestone that is now closer to being achieved.
Compared to other regulatory systems, such as we see in Australia, this is an extremely rapid approval process, taking less than one year since its initial submission. The South Korean centralised regulatory approach has resulted in an efficient turn around while retaining a comprehensive review system. This bodes well to other future potential developments that will be in Southern Gold’s pipeline down the track.”
To read the complete announcement please down load the pdf below: