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Erdene gains key environment nod, begins early work at Bayan Khundii in Mongolia

The Bayan Khundii gold project. Credit: Erdene

Erdene Resource Development (TSX: ERD; MSE: ERDN) has received approval of the detailed environmental impact assessment for its Bayan Khundii gold project in Mongolia.

The company says it will now begin preparatory work for project construction. A formal construction decision is expected in early 2022.

In 2020, Erdene produced a bankable feasibility study for the project that gave it a net present value at a discount rate of 5% of $100 million and an internal rate of return of 42%, both after taxes. An open pit mine is expected to produce 382,700 oz. of gold during the eight-year first phase of operation at an all-in sustaining cost of $733/oz. of gold. At a gold price of $1,400/oz., the project would pay for itself in less than two years.

Resources at Bayan Khundii are 8.3 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 2.19 g/t gold for 585,000 contained ounces. The inferred resource is 500,000 tonnes at 2.18 g/t gold for 36,000 contained ounces.

In August, Erdene announced a new gold discovery about 300 metres west of the Bayan Khundii deposit. Drilling has continued to expand this discovery with the best hole being UDH-22 that returned 77 metres of 3.2 g/t gold and 71 metres of 0.8 g/t gold, including 27 metres at 8.7 g/t, and within that intersection 1 metre of 156.5 g/t gold.

Follow-up drilling at the Dark Horse Mane target 2.4 km north of Bayan Khundii has confirmed a high-grade oxide gold zone starting at the surface and open along strike and at depth. The best assays came from hole ADD-146 with 17 metres grading 16.7 /t gold, including 8 metres of 33.5 g/t gold.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)