EMERGING West African gold developer Papillon Resources will proceed with its flagship Fekola project in Mali, after securing a mining permit from the Malian Government.
The mining licence is valid for 30 years and covers the complete 75 square kilometre area of the Fekola exploration permit, on the border of south-western Mali.
The mining permit, in conjunction with the company’s existing environmental permit (awarded in April 2013), is the final milestone permit required for the mine development. The document was granted following a recommendation to the government by the Malian Ministry of Industry and Mines.
In early February the company announced its latest drilling results from the Fekola tenements, including 9m grading 2.34 grams per tonne of gold, and 4m grading 4.11g/t of gold.
A comprehensive scoping study for the site was first completed in October 2012, and produced an estimated resource of 40.1 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.4g/t of gold, for a contained 3.14 million ounces of gold. The company regarded these figures “as a base case scenario”.
Papillon stated that project development would support production of more than 300,000oz per annum of gold across an 11-year mine life. Low average operating costs across the life of mine are expected, calculated at US$596/oz of gold.
The company stated that Fekola would “contribute significantly to Mali’s economy, and directly and indirectly employ and train a significant number of Malian nationals”.
“It will also be a catalyst for further exploration in the district, which already has a world class gold endowment, as well as the development of other nearby gold projects in Mali.”
Papillon chief executive Mark Connelly said the company would now focus on its execution strategy as it bought the site into operation.
“We are now one very significant step closer to the commencement of mining operations at the world class Fekola project,” Mr Connelly said.
“Following the award of our environmental permit in April 2013, this is an important step in the permitting process for Papillon, further reducing the risk of our development execution strategy.
“The support that the government of Mali, and in particular the Ministry of Industry and Mines, has shown Papillon, and the diligence with which it has processed our application, must be highly commended.”
Mali is known for its vast gold reserves, and is the third largest gold producer on the African continent.