Sourcing of gold is an important part of the steel production chain because every stage of the steel vale chain has exposure to the US dollar. In recent times, there has been significant decline in the global value of the dollar and gold, silver and copper is seen as countercyclical in its strength. By controlling gold interests, Astra hedges the commodity risk of the fluctuating US dollar value.
Cambodia is considered an underexplored region for ore deposits with virtually no coverage by modern exploration techniques. Cambodia has typical mining characteristics found elsewhere including an abundant water supply, electricity supply and close proximity to Vietnam.
Astra seeks viable gold mining assets in all territories.
Astra have identified a gold project in the Ouyadav District in the Ratanakiri Province (222 square kilometres) in north east Cambodia.
A new gold province is beginning to emerge associated with an IRGS across the northern part of Cambodia where the Ratanakiri Gold Project is located. A trend of gold occurrences and artisanal mining centres follows a west/north west structurally controlled trend spanning Cambodia. This includes the recently announced resource at Okvan (605,000oz, Oz Minerals March, 2010).
Geoscience Australia estimated the gold deposit to be 3 million ounces for the intrusion system. Drilling is to be completed to confirm estimates.
Mineral Intrusive Structures Present in the Area
Potential also exists for a quick, modest, cash-flow from alluvial-placer gold deposits on the Project site derived from this mineralisation. The Project site is close to the Vietnam border and an inexpensive supply of electricity. Office, workforce and mine camps have already been established on the Project site. It is estimated that production costs should average approximately $550 per ounce.
An exploration licence issued on the 6th October, 2010 by the Cambodian Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy covers the Project site. Encouraging results from other explorers in terms of recent gold discoveries indicate significant gold deposits in Indochina region. The project is subject to final due diligence.