Shares of Astur Gold (AST-V) jumped 50% to $1.08 on news that the Asturian government had issued a positive environmental impact statement (EIS) on its 100%-owned Salave gold project in Spain, which the junior describes as one of the largest and highest-grade undeveloped gold deposits in Western Europe.
The EIS decision took seven months, underscoring how the financial crisis and record unemployment in the troubled nation has made its government more receptive to mining.
The EIS approves most of the elements in the environmental impact assessment that the company submitted to the government in May, including building an underground mine, 2.7 km decline, underground crushing plant, ventilation shafts, waste dumps and surface stockpiles. The regulatory authorities also approved the power line, improved mine access and built a concrete plant.
Measured and indicated resources at Salave stand at 17.95 million tonnes grading 2.92 grams gold per tonne for 1.68 million contained oz. gold. Inferred resources add 3.77 million tonnes grading 2.80 grams for 338,000 contained oz. gold.
Astur acquired the property from Lundin Mining (LUN-T), which acquired it from Rio Narcea Gold Mines in 2006.
The advanced-stage project is in a region of northwestern Spain where mining dates to the Romans. The Romans excavated the near-surface material to depths averaging 30 metres. The old Roman open-pit at Salave is located 100 km west of Orvana Minerals’ (ORV-T) producing El Valle mine. Salave is accessed by the paved N564 highway from Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. The property is located 1 km east from Tapia de Casariego, a town of about 5,000 people. Mining equipment is available at Oviedo. A high-voltage power line and a rail line transect the property, and shipping facilities are available at the port of Ribadeo, 10 km west of Tapia.
Infrastructure is excellent for mining activities because the area has a long history of coal mining. Logistical support such as power and telephone lines is available at Tapia, which is linked to the Asturias power grid. Water is available from wells near the property and from the Porcia River east of the property.
At press time in Toronto, Astur was trading at 98¢ within a 52-week range of 52¢ to $1.89.
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