Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Mining Limited (APML) said it has received the nod from Myanmar authorities to start mineral exploration in Shan state.
This approval represents the first grant of a 100 percent-owned exploration licence to a Western-led mining development company in Myanmar, APML said.
“The finalisation of the AP-4 licence marks the culmination of years of cooperation between Asia Pacific Mining Limited, Myanmar’s Ministry of Mines and the Department of Geological Survey & Mineral Exploration,” said Andrew Mooney, chief executive officer of APML.
The AP-4 licence covers 649 square kilometres northwest of the town of Namtu, Shan State –itself located 40 kilometres northwest of the major regional centre and airport at Lashio.
The licence was advanced by APML to cover lands surrounding the Bawdwin zinc-lead-silver mine – one of the largest producers of these metals in the world during its period of peak output when built and operated by British interests at the turn of the 20th century.
Since 1951, production from Bawdwin totalled over 8.1 million tonnes of ore grading an average of 4.5 percent zinc, 8.8 percent lead and 0.18 percent copper. This includes 5.5 million tonnes of ore produced from underground workings, which carried an average silver grade of 7.9 troy oz/t (246 g/t). This data does not capture reported production of associated nickel, antimony and gold.
APML said it believes that historic exploration in the Bawdwin area has been minimal – thus raising strong prospects for additional discoveries here of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits similar to the Bawdwin lodes.
The company said it plans to begin fieldwork at AP-4 this month, while a number of target zones for Bawdwin-style mineralisation have already been identified across the project based on past geological and geochemical surveys.
Initial fieldwork at AP-4 will consist of field mapping, sampling and geochemical surveys aimed at better defining drill targets for subsequent testing.
APML said based on its knowledge of the geology at the Bawdwin mine and across the region, the AP-4 project might hold the potential for discovery of zinc-lead-silver deposits at world-class size and grade.
APML is also moving forward with exploration licence applications for copper-gold porphyry targets in Sagaing region in central Myanmar. These applications – AP-8, AP-9 and AP-10 – are also based on proprietary data from APML’s countrywide library and database, and are designed to cover targets similar to the Monywa copper mine – which contained an original Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of over 1 billion tonnes grading 0.40 percent copper in Sagaing.