Bluebird Merchant Ventures has submitted the mining application to redevelop the closed Kochang mining operation in South Korea.

If the application is approved, the company will be able to begin the construction and production phases of the restoration project.

The company aims to restart the Kochang mine, which was operational from 1928 to 1975 and was mined to a depth of 150m. The mine was closed due to declining profits.

According to Bluebird, this type of deposit typically extends to 1km in depth.

In June last year, the firm signed a deal to operate the Kochang mine under a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Southern Gold.

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By GlobalData

Bluebird is expecting to secure the mining permit for another key gold mine in South Korea later this month. The firm submitted the application for the development of the Gubong mine in January this year.

The company expects the regulatory authority to seek some clarifications on some issues and stated that it is ready to answer them to the satisfaction of the authority.

The approval will allow the miner to reopen the Gubong mine, which operated between 1908 and 1971.

Bluebird intends to commence production during the fourth quarter of this year.

“Gubong was the second largest gold mine in Korea for a number of years and Kochang was known for its high grade production.”

Bluebird Merchant Ventures chief operating officer Charles Barclay said: “Typically, such workings were closed for many years and, as is the case with our two projects in South Korea, were mined in days of much lower gold prices, less productive mining and in far less advanced processing eras.

“We also have the advantage of much existing infrastructure in the form of developed tunnels, remnant areas developed but unmined due to pay limits of the day and broken ore not effectively cleared at closure.

“We also have substantial records on the two mines which were well known in their day. Gubong was the second largest gold mine in Korea for a number of years and Kochang was known for its high grade production.”

Meanwhile, the company expects to receive approval from South Korean government-owned Korea Resources for a drilling grant application by the end of this month.