Precious metals producer Hochschild Mining (LON: HOC) has been granted a key permit that allows it to build a processing plan and kick off mine pre-stripping at the Mara Rosa gold project in Brazil’s central state of Goías.
The environmental licence also means that the Latin America-focused miner can begin construction of all the required site infrastructure.
Chief executive officer Ignacio Bustamante said the permit reception was a key milestone for the project, as it puts Hochschild on track to begin production in the first half of 2024.
The Mara Rosa gold asset comprises 60,000 hectares of exploration permits and 2,600 hectares of mining permits.
The main mineral deposit within the Mara Rosa is the Posse gold project, which includes two pits, Posse North and Posse South. For that reason, Mara Rosa is also referred to as the Posse deposit and the Posse gold project.
Hochschild added Mara Rosa to its portfolio last year through the acquisition of Amarillo Gold.
During its first four years of operations, the operation is expected to produce 102,000 ounces of gold per year, dropping to 84,000 ounces in the six remaining years of mine-life.
The asset hosts proven and probable reserves of 23.8 million tonnes grading 1.18 grams per tonne for 902,000 ounces. The combined measured and indicated resource stands at 32 million tonnes grading 1.1 gram per tonne for 1.2 million ounces of contained gold.
Hochschild has identified near-mine and regional exploration opportunities, including multiple potential satellite deposits.