Mali has granted an environmental permit for Roscan Gold’s (TSXV: ROS) Kandiole project—the penultimate step that precedes securing a final mining licence, the company reports.
CEO Nana Sangmuah said the permit not only “significantly de-risks” the project but also “signals that Mali is open for business and continues to lay the foundation for further growth in production with a quick permitting timeline not seen in most jurisdictions.”
In a press release, the CEO also noted that the company expects to obtain the final mining licence “in the near future.”
The Kandiole project, about 400 km west of the West African nation’s capital, Bamako, is situated in the Birimian Greenstone Belt, one of Africa’s most productive regions. The project is within 80 km of seven operating mines.
B2Gold’s (TSX: BTO) producing Fekola mine is 25 km away and the project is also within trucking distance of Iamgold’s (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) Boto and Diakha deposits. Other major gold deposits within 80 km of Kandiole include Barrick’s (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) Loulo and Gounkoto.
Kandiole has total indicated resources of 27.4 million tonnes grading 1.2 grams gold per tonne for 1.02 million oz. of contained gold. Inferred resources add 5.2 million tonnes grading 1.2 grams gold for 198,000 ounces.
The initial resource estimate announced in June 2022 used a gold price of $1,500 per oz. and included mineralization from six deposits: Mankouke South, Mankouke Central, Kandiole 1, Kandiole 2 and 4, Kabaya and Moussala. It did not include the Disse, Walia, Niala and Mankouke West targets.
In a February corporate presentation, the company stated it envisions a high-grade starter pit with low strip ratios of between 2.4:1 and 2.7:1 and noted that 72% of the resource is within saprolite.
At mid-day in Toronto, Roscan was trading at C$0.165 per share, down 2.94%. Over the last year the company has traded in a range of C$0.145 and C$0.42. Its market cap currently stands at C$62.5 million.
Echelon Capital Markets mining analyst Ryan Walker puts a target price on Roscan of C$1 per share.
Commenting on the environmental permit, Walker said in a research note on Thursday that he views the news “as directionally positive as it tends to demonstrate the Malian government’s amenability to potential fast-tracking of production and advances permitting, which enhances the project’s potential M&A appeal.”
He also pointed out that “the subsequent granting of a final mining licence would allow Roscan to compel Osisko Gold Royalties (TSX: OR NR) to add another 1% NSR on the project (bringing Osisko’s total NSE to 2%) for C$5 million under a royalty sales deal from late last year.”