Proactive Investors (PI) caught up with chief executive Tim Coughlin (TC) to find out what this means for the gold company.
TC: This is a reminder to everybody the working group was established to basically find another heap leach facility for Amulsar, given that a buffer zone had been applied across a water tunnel that transects the project.
It's been about a two-month process, in which members of the government, together with our technical team, have reviewed all possible alternatives for a heap leach facility around the project and settled on one, which is a valley-fill heap leach facility.
It's a good valley-fill, as valley-fills go. It's one that we don't think is going to cost us much more than any previous design we've had. In fact, we're hoping that the engineers are going to bring it on cost, so down to a price that was equivalent with our previous location.
The whole process I think anyway has brought Lydian and the Government a lot closer together now.
PI: There have been some positive comments from the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, regarding the social programmes around Amulsar’s project.
TC: Yes, thankfully. It's nice to get recognition for some of the work that we've been doing for the last seven or so years around our communities. That includes various initiatives, from building kindergartens and agricultural programmes that we do in joint venture with a group called the HDP Foundation.
On the environmental side of course, we've just completed a very detailed environmental and social impact assessment, which has been completed to Equator Principles standards, so to World Bank standards; it's taken us about three years to get that.
PI: The markets are really tough at the moment, but Lydian is still a really good prospect for investors.
TC: The markets are terrible at the moment and they are by far the worst I've ever seen them. Yes, I think Lydian is a good prospect for investors.
I'm ringing in my ears right now with the comments of somebody most of the market holds very highly, who recently at a conference said: “It's a bear market. You have to convince people to buy.”
Human nature, for whatever reason, seems to force us to sell our shares when the price is low and buy them when the price is high, but if an investor can make that mental shift then what are you looking for in this market?
I suppose you are looking for good projects, obviously, and what’s a good project?Something that has good cash costs in an environment where the gold price is under significant pressure, so ‘all-in costs’, I should say.
Lydian’s cash costs, last time we checked anyway, were about $470 an ounce, and our all-in costs are somewhere between $700 and $800 an ounce, so a highly profitable project and its growing..
I think it's 4.1 million ounces at the moment in combined resources, so that's all inferred, indicated and measured category resources, combined. And some of the drill results that investors would have seen this year are a clear indication that it’s open at depth and open along strike. So yes, I think Lydian remains a good prospect.