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Myanmar Metals steps up redevelopment program for Bawdwin JV in Myanmar

Myanmar Metals Ltd. on Aug. 15 outlined an accelerated redevelopment program for its polymetallic Bawdwin joint venture in Myanmar.

The company will implement the plan over 12 months. It is expected to result in a complete pre-feasibility study in the first quarter of 2019 and a feasibility study in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Bawdwin joint venture — which is 51%-owned by Myanmar Metals, with East Asia Power (Mining) Co. Ltd. and Win Myint Mo Industries Co. each holding 24.5% stakes — will apply for development and investment approvals from Myanmar's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation and the Myanmar Investment Commission when the feasibility study is complete.

Construction at the mine is slated to begin in 2020, and commissioning and first ore processing will occur in late 2021.

In the near term, a scoping study for the China lode of the Bawdwin project is being finalized, and the results will be released soon.

A 15,000-meter drilling program has begun at the Shan and Meingtha lodes to upgrade resource estimate classification from inferred to indicated, to materially grow overall project resource estimates and to test the continuity of mineralization between lodes.

In July, an updated resource estimate for the Bawdwin project increased indicated tonnage by 23% to 24.8 million tonnes grading 5.1% lead, 134 g/t of silver, 2.8% zinc and 0.2% copper. Indicated and inferred resources stand at 81.8 million tonnes grading 4.8% lead, 119 g/t of silver, 2.4% zinc and 0.24% copper.

CEO John Lamb told S&P Global Market Intelligence in May that Myanmar Metals' progress in the country is well timed and that the location of the joint venture will help it benefit from China's Belt and Road initiative activities just across the border.