Primorus Investment Plc owns 49% of Gold Mines of Wales Limited, which in turn owns 100% of Gold Mines of Wales (Operations) Limited (“GMOW”), the UK entity that holds the exclusive Crown Estate (“Crown”) Mines Royal Exploration Option (“Option”) over the Dolgellau Gold-Belt for a period of six years. The Option from the Crown Estate is over 107 km2 of exploration area. The Option granted to GMOW is akin to what is known as an exploration licence in other jurisdictions, in that it gives GMOW the exclusive right to explore for gold and other minerals within the licence area for the specific period.
Previous extensions of the Option have only been granted for a period of one year, and the Option will be subject to review by the Crown of GMOW’s progress and activities every two years.
The previously granted Option of one year covered an area of 124 km2 of the gold-belt. In the renewal dated 14 August 2015 (but commencing 10 February 2015), the Crown has opted to exclude an area of approximately 17 km2 incorporating the former Gwynfynydd mine. Whilst potentially prospective for gold exploration, this area is difficult to explore due to dense forestation.
Under its renewed Option, GMOW retains 107 km2 of exploration area. This most importantly includes the Clogau St Davids mine, the most significant historical producer within the area covered by the Option, as well as the prospective southern area of the gold-belt (62 km2). The granted Option also covers 45 km2 of the gold-belt northern area, which is geologically prospective but vastly unexplored.
The six year Option period now provides GMOW with a firm base on which to drive both regional and near mine (Clogau) exploration. A consultation process has already commenced with a number of exploration service providers who may be contracted to assist. GMOW is now assessing operational and technical options to advance the project.