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Amur Minerals outlines big plans for 2016 field season

Unlike most of its junior peers in the market, Amur has managed to generate real momentum in recent months.
Amur Minerals outlines big plans for 2016 field season
Amur is currently mobilising rigs for a 15,000 metre drilling campaign

“We’re pretty busy right now,” says Robin Young of Amur Minerals (LON:AMC).

He’s not exaggerating for effect, even if it is -20°C outside his office in Khabarovsk and the natural inclination of most of his investors might be to hunker down and wait for winter to run its course out into spring.

The chill in commodities prices isn’t exactly heart-warming either, and there has been some reflection of the poor state of the markets in Amur’s recent share price.

But the company has plenty of cash in the bank, and unlike most of its junior peers in the market, has managed to generate real momentum in recent months.

So, although the ice is crowding in on Young’s office, he’s keen that things should keep on moving.

In Russia, of course, a hard winter is no reason not to keep on working. Indeed, in many ways it’s easier to work in winter than in spring, when the roads turn to mud as the ice and snow melts.

And so it is that Amur is currently mobilising rigs for a 15,000 metre drilling campaign to take place across its Kun-Manie nickel project beginning in June.

To that end, the company will shortly take delivery of 240 tonnes of fuel, two D9R dozers, a 329D excavator, a dump truck, a personnel carrier, a fuel truck and factory spares.

Already at or close to site are the drill rig, a 25 tonne crane, and two generators.

While all that’s going on, in the office Robin will be going over various reports from mining consultants SRK, to work out where to focus the drilling.

“We’ve got a new resource update that’s being compiled right now,” he says. “The drilling goal will be to drill out a deposit that’s going to be a start-up deposit.”

Favourite at this stage is Flangovy-Maly Kurumkon, principally because it has the greater resource at the moment, but the company also has other good-looking areas of mineralisation on the ground, notably at Kubuk, that may yet come to the fore.

The drilling will also be factored into the ongoing feasibility study that’s due for completion in about two years’ time.

It’s too early to speculate in detail what that study will ultimately look like, but there will be three key areas on which Amur will focus.

The first is infrastructure costs, principally the road into Kun-Manie itself. On that score, the recent devaluation of the rouble has had a very helpful effect on estimates.

The second is the need for the company to put together a representative bulk sample of ore that it can really test and get the measure of ahead of full construction.

And the third is that there needs to be detailed study and costings for the proposed 15 kilometre power line to the smelter site.

There’ll be updates on all those aspects along the way, as one way or another it looks like Amur is going to have plenty. 

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“Both companies recognise that substantial work is required to complete final evaluation of the metallurgical recoveries, concentrate generation, transport, and development of final saleable products for their individual projects,” Amur said in statement.

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