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Beowulf Mining confident in Kosovo progress

By Josh White

Date: Monday 02 Aug 2021

Beowulf Mining confident in Kosovo progress

(Sharecast News) - Mineral exploration and development company Beowulf has invested a further £0.1m in Vardar Minerals, it announced on Monday, increasing its ownership in Vardar to 49.4%, from 48.4%.
The AIM-traded firm said that to date, Vardar had been unable to start its planned summer drilling programme, as it was awaiting final approval of its licence applications.

It said Kosovo's Independent Commission on Mines and Minerals (ICMM) reached the end of its members' elected terms about a year ago, with the selection of a new board delayed by Covid-19-related disruptions, and by Kosovo's parliamentary elections, which took place in February.

That selection process had now started, and Vardar was expecting the ICMM board to be in operation by the end of September, and thereafter, the backlog of applications to be processed with some urgency.

On 30 July, Vardar submitted its licence renewal applications for Mitrovica and Viti on time, with those applications approved by the pre-board process, ready for signature by the ICMM board.

In anticipation of those licences being reissued, the ICMM approved the geophysics programme at Mitrovica undertaken in the third and fourth quarter of 2020, and the building of access roads and drilling platforms ahead of the planned drilling on the lead-zinc targets at Wolf Mountain and gold targets at Majdan Peak.

Assuming that the licences are approved by the ICMM board in late September, Vardar was hoping to be able to use two diamond drill rigs to complete the planned drilling programme prior to the onset of winter.

Those plans remained contingent on securing two rigs once the licences were issued, with Beowulf's investment set to fund the advance procurement of necessary support equipment.

Vardar also submitted an application for a new exploration licence area, which was also approved by the pre-board process and was ready for signature by the ICMM board.

The application covers an area of 87 square kilometres, extends to the north and northeast of the Mitrovica Project, and includes several areas with "significant" alteration associated with Oligo-Miocene magmatics, along with associated gossans and evidence of historical artisanal workings.

The licence encompasses the extension of a distinct northwest trending zone of lead-zinc-silver mineralisation from the Stan Terg deposit through the Wolf Mountain target.

Plans were being drawn up for a comprehensive ground based and airborne drone exploration programme in spring 2022.

"The company was pleased to see another democratic election take place in Kosovo earlier this year, and we have had to be patient while the new government takes office and learns about the importance of Kosovo's developing mining sector," said Beowulf chief executive officer Kurt Budge.

"It's good to know that the formation of the new ICMM board is underway, and Vardar and Beowulf have been working with the British Embassy in Pristina, and other exploration companies, to ensure that the government understands the excessive time we have been waiting for licence approvals and the importance of giving investors in Kosovo confidence in legal and regulatory processes.

"The Vardar team is now adjusting its plans for an intense drilling programme in the Autumn, about 3,300 metres into lead-zinc targets at Wolf Mountain and gold targets at Majdan Peak."

At 1229 BST, shares in Beowulf Mining were up 2.67% at 3.85p.

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