Aspire has interests in a total of 11 coal licences located in Mongolia's northern provinces and the South Gobi region.
Ovoot Coking Coal Project (100%)
The Ovoot project is a large scale coking coal project with a current JORC Probable Reserve of 255 Mt.
Ovoot will be developed as a large single open pit and small underground operation to produce initially 5 Mtpa, increasing up to 10 Mtpa of saleable metallurgical coal. Initial production is expected in 2019, subject to the completion of construction of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway.
Jilchigbulag Coal Project (100%)
The Jilchigbulag Coal Project (“Jilchigbulag Project”) is a 2.5 square kilometre exploration licence which surrounds an existing mine lease that supplies thermal coal to the town of Moron, the capital of the Khuvsgul Province.
Exploration drilling conducted during 2011, which intersected high vitrinite bituminous coal, has indicated that the resource potential at Jilchigbulag is small.
Myangan Coal Project (100%)
Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (50%, option to earn 100%)
The ECJV is a 50/50 joint venture between Aspire and Singapore listed commodities trader Noble Group (SGX: N21, Noble). Aspire have an option to purchase Noble’s stake in the ECJV, which expires in March 2016.
The ECJV holds interests in two exploration coal projects:
Northern Railways LLC (90%)
Northern Railways is a Mongolian registered infrastructure company established by Aspire as a special purpose vehicle to progress the development of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway in northern Mongolia.
The Erdenet to Ovoot railway represents a section of the Mongolia’s national rail policy, which extends its existing rail network to connect northern Mongolian with the Russian city of Kyzyl thereby creating an international rail link. Northern Railways is backed by a consortium including Aspire and two subsidiaries of Fortune 500 company China Railways Corporation – China Railways 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20G) and China Railway First Design Survey and Design Institute (FSDI).
Other partners supporting the Erdenet to Ovoot railway development include Noble Group who have provides contributed to the pre-development expenditure and will earn a 10% equity interest upon the grant of a rail concession to Northern Railways by the Government of Mongolia.
Over US$10 million has been spent by Northern Railways in defining the alignment and capital costs. It is anticipated that the Erdenet to Ovoot railway will be operational from 2019 subject to the receipt of necessary permits, licences, and funding.