North Headline, Australia (PressExposure) June 27, 2011 -- Astra Mining, an Australian diversified mining company, has signed an option agreement to fund the acquisition of an operating gold mine in Cambodia which presently has an exploration license.
The agreement provides Astra with a majority interest in Petone Mining (Asia) which has the acquisition agreement for the mine. A mining license will be applied for prior to production expansion of the mine.
The first report on the gold exploration license has been received showing the 222 square kilometre lease in the Ratanakiri Province has the potential to host a significant gold deposit.
Astra Mining CEO, Dr Jaydeep Biswas, says while the report is preliminary and assay data from samples collected in the field are yet to be received, early indications are that a small tonnage of high-grade ore is immediately accessible for processing.
"The site inspected by our consultant geologist indicates an extensive system with the potential to host an Intrusion-Related Gold System, a newly defined deposit classification," Dr Biswas says.
"Similar structures overseas, particularly in Alaska, have been known to host greater than three million ounces of gold resources.
"No indiation of the grade of the 'high grade' portions could be ascertained in the field, however we have seen some evidence of a range from between six and 33 grams of gold per tonne."
The samples studied comprised grab samples from mine dumps, channel samples, existing pits and composite rock chip samples and samples of ore from small crushing mill.
Astra considers Cambodia to be one of the few remaining countries in the world that has favourable geology in under-explored areas containing high potential for world class, undiscovered gold and copper ore bodies.
"Cambodia is considered a last frontier region for ore deposits, with virtually no coverage by modern exploration techniques," Dr Biswas says.
"A viable, 'company maker' mineral deposit for us will require an open-cuttable resource delivering between one and three grams of gold per tonne.
"While early indications are that this is certainly achievable, all information is currently subject to verification as part of our due diligence process involved in the option to acquire a majority ownership in the lease."
Astra's majority stake in Petone is subject to raising sufficient capital to enable Petone to acquire the gold mine and fund its expansion and final due diligence.
A copy of the report is available at http://www.astramining.com/projects/gold/vietnam.
Astra Mining's global portfolio includes gold and tin interests in south east Asia and southern India, coal mines in Australia and Africa, iron ore in India and Africa, and the production of a new high-strength steel technology.
The company has already announced signed Business Cooperation Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding with two Vietnamese groups to enter into joint venture operations for three exploration and extraction licenses in Hoa Binh, which is situated in the Doi Bu gold region of Vietnam, and three exploration and extraction licenses in the Nghn An province.
Astra is in advanced discussions on merging these Vietnamese initiatives with a major Vietnamese resource company of which details will be announced as soon as they become available.
Astra has also confirmed its plans to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before the end of August.