Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR), the London Stock Exchange AIM listed investor in strategic natural resource opportunities, yesterday to announced that the Company has received the final report of a hydrogeology study commissioned to the Groundwater Research Institute (“GWRI”), based at Khon Kaen University in Thailand, which relates to the Song Toh and Boh Yai lead-zinc-silver mines of the Company’s Thai Joint Venture (“Thai JV”). The study forms an important part of the development plan, designed to bring Song-Toh and Boh Yai mines back in to commercial production following the planned IPO of the Thai JV listing vehicle KEMCO Mining PLC (“KEMCO”) on AIM in an environmentally responsible manner.
The six-month field, lab and desktop study, entitled “Hydrogeology near the planned Underground Lead-Zinc Mining at Song Toh and Boh Yai areas in Kanchanburi Province”, which involved close cooperation between Metal Tiger Thailand (MTT) technical staff and GWRI personnel, was commissioned in order to develop a conceptual 3D model of surface and subsurface water flow. Data and interpretations generated by the Study, as well as additional data provided by MTT technical staff, has led to the development of an ongoing Water and Environmental Monitoring Program, currently being implemented with GWRI, that will generate additional water flow and water table level data as well as chemical analyses at some 30 sampling locations throughout the project area. MTT is also in discussions with Mahidol University in the development of a program to enhance MTT’s modelling of the water dynamics in the project area.
This data will allow GWRI to further refine the 3D model so that a thorough understanding of the baseline environmental conditions of the site, during wet and dry seasons and transitional periods, will be achieved. Repeated simulations using the 3D model software, which incorporates constraints on water movement such as topography, water catchment areas, existing tunnels, sink holes, karst holes, faults, rock matrix fracture porosity, and soil and geological variation, will allow interpretations of aquifer location, interconnectivity, and storage capacity to be made in the context of changing local precipitation amounts, river flow rates, water table levels, and chemical analyses over time and in all conditions. These interpretations will allow the Company and other interested parties to understand how and where water movement controls the distribution of metals currently existing in the natural environment throughout the year as well as anticipate how the Company’s water management plans will be able to control the distribution after the resumption of mining in an environmentally responsible manner.
Data and interpretations from the Monitoring Program will be merged with data generated by the Health and Environmental Impact Assessment (HEIA) to form the basis of the environmental component of the Mining Lease permitting process, while ensuring compliance with environmental and social standards at national and international levels. It will also enable the Company, in the development of a comprehensive Water Management Plan, to define operating parameters, establish environmental monitoring criteria during production, and determine how to provide local communities with additional clean water during the dry season, amongst other things.
The Thai JV is committed to bringing the Song Toh and Boh Yai mines back into production with full attention to environmental impact awareness, control, and compliance. This study and the monitoring program that has accrued from it are critical elements in the process of ensuring that this commitment is met.