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UPDATE - Ortac Resources submits preliminary environmental report at Šturec

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Europe-focused Ortac Resources (LON:OTC) has submitted a preliminary environmental report as part of its application to start underground mining at its Šturec deposit in Slovakia.

It proposes to unearth 1,000 tonnes per year in trial-mining of high-grade gold and silver from the existing underground development at the project, which hosts a 1.32 million gold equivalent resource.

It comes alongside the firm's application to surface mine - also at the environmental stage.

If approved, it means the company satisfies all obligations under the terms of the mining licence area and that Ortac can continue advancing its Šturecland concept - the green energy, tourism development to be funded from mining.

The firm has encountered opposition to its plans and has been engaging with local stakeholders to find out how they envisage their natural resources being developed.

Broker Cantor Fitzgerald highlighted that around 1.5million ounces of gold is reckoned to have been extracted from underground workings at the site between the 14th and 20th centuries.

"In our view, the proposed underground programme would appear to offer a sensible means through which OTC can progress its work on the project and meet its licence conditions while continuing its dialogue with the local community in finding a mutually acceptable development strategy for its proposed surface mine at Sturec," says analyst Asa Bridle.

He reckons the firm is making progress, albeit at a modest pace.

"If strong local support can be gained for the mine, a significant re-rating in the share price would follow, in our view."

Cantor repeated its 'buy' recommendation on the shares and price target of 5.5p (current price: 0.29p).

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Price: 3.1 GBX

AIM:ARCM
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Market Cap: £22.88 m
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