Shares of Astur Gold (AST-V) jumped 50% to $1.08 on news that authorities in Spain had issued a positive Environmental Impact Statement on its 100%-owned Salave gold project, which the junior describes as one of the largest and highest grade undeveloped gold deposits in Western Europe.
The EIS decision took just seven months, underscoring how the financial crisis and record unemployment in the troubled nation has made its government far more receptive to mining.
The EIS approves most of the elements in the Environmental Impact Assessment the company submitted to the government in May, including building an underground mine, a 2.7 km decline, an underground crushing plant, ventilation shafts, waste dumps and surface stockpiles. The regulatory authorities also approved the power line, improving access to the mine, and building a concrete plant.
Measured and indicated resources at Salave currently stand at 17.95 million tonnes grading 2.92 grams gold per tonne for 1.68 million ounces of contained gold. Inferred resources add 3.77 million tonnes grading 2.80 grams for 338,000 ounces of contained gold.
Astur acquired the property from Lundin Mining (LUN-T, LUN-L), 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 about 100 km west of Orvana Mineral’s (ORV-T) producing El Valle mine. Access to Salave is by paved highway N564 from Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. The property is about 1 km east of the village of Tapia de Casariego, a town of about 5,000 people situated on the highway. 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, about 10 km west of Tapia.
Infrastructure is excellent for mining activities since the area also 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 presstime in Toronto, Astur was trading at 98 cents within a 52-week range of 52 cents and $1.89.
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