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AsiaPhos seeking amicable settlement with Sichuan provincial government on mining operations

IN an update to ongoing negotiations with the Sichuan provincial government in China regarding its mining operations, phosphate mining company AsiaPhos says it has met officials from the Sichuan Provincial People's Government and officials from various Deyang and Mianzhu departments, and was looking for an amicable settlement.

This is regarding the request for undertaking and the "potential non-renewal" of Mine 1, located outside Jiudingshan Nature Reserve in Sichuan province in China.

Mine 1 is not located within Jiudingshan Nature Reserve, but according to the Mianzhu Forestry Bureau, falls within the area earmarked for a proposed panda reserve.

AsiaPhos said that the company and the Sichuan provincial government are intending to negotiate terms which would provide AsiaPhos with continued access to sufficient phosphate rocks, as well as possible compensation options or the compensation amounts/terms as a result of the company vacating three mines in Sichuan province - Mine 1, Mine 2 and the Feng Tai mine.

AsiaPhos highlighted that any agreement would require formal approval by the Sichuan provincial government, and that no definitive terms have yet been agreed upon.

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AsiaPhos also said it has been advised that ongoing negotiations would not prevent the company from commencing international arbitration proceedings, and will be doing so in the event no agreement is reached.

The developments in AsiaPhos' mining operations stem from a Nov 24 announcement, in which the Catalist-listed company said that it had 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.

At the time, AsiaPhos said that it did not intend to sign the request for undertaking.

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