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26 Mar 2021 | 14:34

Capital Metals makes progress on Eastern mineral sands project

(Sharecast News) - Sri Lanka-focussed natural resources company Capital Metals reported progress on the Eastern mineral sands project on Friday, confirming that the public consultation period had now ended. The AIM-traded firm said it was aiming for the final permitting steps to be completed, and the mining licence granted, for first production in the first half of 2022.

As it had previously reported, the project's environmental impact assessment report had received the initial approval of the Sri Lankan authorities, which was then subject to a public consultation process.

The public consultation period ended on 12 March, with submissions currently being compiled and reviewed by the Coastal Conservation Department, which would then provide feedback to the company.

Capital Metals said it was "fully engaged" with the Coastal Conservation Department, and other relevant government departments, to finalise the assessment.

The next step in the process would be a technical evaluation committee meeting, to be held in April, before the final approval of the Coastal Conservation Department.

It said the committee had representatives from a number of government departments from across Sri Lanka, many of whom were already familiar with the project, with logistics for the meeting still subject to the country's Covid-19 restrictions.

When the assessment approval process is complete, the company could then formally engage with the Geographical Survey and Mines Bureau of Sri Lanka under the Mines and Minerals Act for issue of the mining licence.

"The company is actively working with the CCD and other relevant Government departments to finalise the environmental impact assessment as the next step towards production next year, and we continue to make steady progress through the approval process," said chief executive officer Michael Frayne.

"There is growing awareness in Sri Lanka of the positive economic and social benefits our mineral commodities export project can bring to the local communities and Sri Lanka as a whole.

"Whilst we work towards development and first production, we are encouraged by the strengthening in the global metals market and specifically the ilmenite, rutile and zircon markets which are the main minerals in our high-grade deposit."

At 1250 GMT, shares in Capital Metals were down 0.99% at 15p.
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