Aspire Mining has taken a step towards the development of its Ovoot coking coal mine in Mongolia, launching discussions with Russia's main rail operator to provide the mine access to the country's rail network.
Perth-based Aspire announced today it was in discussions with JSC Russian Railways over the extension of the Trans-Mongolian Railway across northern Mongolia.
The company said it would explore the establishment of a partnership with Russian Railways' Mongolian subsidiary to build, own and operate an extension of the rail line from the town of Erdenet, through to Ovoot via the town of Moron.
Aspire managing director David Paull said the discussions were a step forward in the development of the infrastructure required to support the Ovoot coking coal project.
“In addition, it demonstrates the importance of the Erdenet – Moron – Ovoot rail line to the economic and national interests of Mongolia,” Mr Paull said in a statement.
“The development of this rail line would establish an important new source of export revenues for Mongolia and routes to seaborne markets via the Russian rail system.”
Aspire is aiming to develop a large-scale open pit mine at Ovoot, targeting annual production of between 10 million and 12 million tonnes of coking coal.
The company expects first production in early 2016, pending receipt of regulatory approvals and infrastructure access.
The company's shares lost ground on the ASX today, closing trade down 9.4 per cent, at 14.5 cents.