Aspire Mining has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sainshand Industrial Complex SOE to supply coal produced from the Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia.

The Sainshand Industrial Complex SOE is a Mongolian Government entity established to oversee the development of the Sainshand Industrial Park, which is situated along the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway with rail and road access to north-east China

Its infrastructure is intended to house both coke and steel plants, amongst other industries.

The MoU covers an intent by Sainshand Industrial Complex to enter into future purchase agreements for Ovoot project coking coal and establishes a basis of information sharing prior to negotiation.

Aspire Mining said that in order to supply the Sainshand Park with Ovoot project coking coal, the Erdenet-Ovoot project railway connecting to the Trans-Mongolian Railway should be completed.

Aspire’s Mongolian rail infrastructure subsidiary, Northern Railways, has applied to the Mongolian Government for a rail concession over the Northern Rail Line.

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Canadian resource firm Midlands Minerals has signed a definitive agreement with Reservoir Minerals for an option to earn up to a 75% stake in the latter’s Parlozi lead-zinc-silver project in Serbia.

Under the agreement, Midlands can earn an initial 51% interest in the project by spending C$4.5m ($4.09m) on exploration over the next four years.

The firm commitments include a minimum investment of C$500,000 before 30 September, including the reimbursement of exploration expenditures on the project by Reservoir since 6 June 2013 and 1,500m of drilling.

Midlands Minerals can later earn an additional 14% interest over two years, by obtaining a mining exploitation permit from the Serbian Government and a further 10% by completing a bankable feasibility study within two years of obtaining a mining exploitation permit.

The project is a 91km² exploration permit, which covers occurrences of historical lead-zinc-silver mining in the Kosmaj-Babe area of the Sumadija mining district in central Serbia.

Stornoway Diamond has entered into a binding financing commitment agreement with Orion Co-Investments I (Orion), Resources Québec (RQ), a subsidiary of Investissement Québec, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), for the construction of the Renard diamond project.

The agreement contemplates a series of proposed financing transactions totalling C$944m with funding commitments of $360m from Orion, C$220m from RQ and C$105m from CDPQ.

Stornowa has also entered into a mandate letter with Caterpillar to arrange and underwrite an equipment financing facility for a minimum of $35m, for the purchase of certain mine equipment items manufactured by Caterpillar and others, including the project’s mobile mining fleet.

The Renard diamond project is situated 250km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of north-central Québec.

Probable mineral reserves of the project stand at 17.9 million carats and total indicated mineral resources, inclusive of the mineral reserve, stand at 27.1 million carats, with a further 16.85 million carats of inferred mineral resources.

Pele Mountain Resources has entered into an access agreement with Rio Algom to sample Elliot Lake mine tailings for rare earths in Ontario, Canada.

Pele said that federal and provincial regulators are aware that the sampling of the tailings is being undertaken by the company, which is bound by a confidentiality agreement.

The company noted that all next steps, if any, will follow the required public consultation and regulatory requirements.

Pele is focused on the development of its 100%-owned Eco Ridge Mine Rare Earth and Uranium project, in Elliot Lake, Ontario.

The company also owns strategic mining claims containing high-grade rare earth mineralisation at Mountain Pass, California, US.

Knick Exploration has signed an agreement with junior exploration firm GeoNovus Minerals on the Malartic West property in Canada.

Located in the gold prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt in the province of Québec, the property comprises 13 claims covering 507ha.

To acquire a 100% interest in the property, GeoNovus is required to pay $20,000 and issue two million common shares of the corporation to Knick Exploration over a two year period.

A 2% net smelter royalty is in place, with the company having the right to buy back 1% of the royalty for $1m.

Image: Several deals were signed this week. Photo: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.