The Malian government has granted Papillon Resources a mining permit to develop and mine its flagship Fekola gold project in the West African country.

The permit, which is valid for 30 years, covers the entire 75sqkm area of the Fekola exploration permit. It an environmental approval for Fekola secured in April 2013 and a pre-feasibility study (PFS) that showed Fekola could yield 300,000 ozpa at low operating costs.

Papillon is currently conducting a thorough technical review of its PFS, prior to commencing the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), which will include incorporation of the new MRE into mining schedules, improved infrastructure locations and site layout, as well a further metallurgical and comminution test work program, all aimed at further reducing capital and operating costs. The DFS is planned to commence in the first quarter of 2014.

It is anticipated that design and engineering for the project will be completed during the second half of 2014, which will lead to a final investment decision for the development of Fekola.

“We are now one very significant step closer to the commencement of mining operations at the world class Fekola Project. 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,” Papillon Managing Director and CEO, Mark Connelly said.