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SHARES in AsiaPhos Limited have fallen by as much as 18.4 per cent with the stock trading at S$0.016 or 15.5 per cent down to S$0.087 as at 11.36am on Friday.
The fall in stock price comes after it announced on early Friday that it received a request for undertaking - around Nov 21 - to vacate and rehabilitate two of its mining sites within the Jiudingshan Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province.
AsiaPhos does not intend to sign the request for undertaking and may have to bear the rehabilitation costs of about 2.2 million yuan (S$449,680) for the mines if rehabilitation works are not completed by Nov 30.
The phosphate-mining firm said: "The request for undertaking may be a prelude to formal negotiations on the withdrawal of the mining and exploration licences of Mine 2 and the Feng Tai mine."
While Mine 1 - located outside the Jiudingshan Nature Reserve - has a licence that is valid until February 2018, AsiaPhos was advised by the authorities when it applied for a renewal of the licence that the mine could be within the area of a proposed panda reserve.
AsiaPhos said that it has sufficient inventories of phosphate rocks and yellow phosphorous to cover its operational needs up to March 31, 2018. It has also commenced sourcing and will continue to source rocks from other suppliers.