African Gold Group has received environmental clearance for the Kobada Gold Project in Mali, marking a ‘key milestone’ in the approval process.

The project’s environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) has been approved by the Ministry of Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Mali.

African Gold Group CEO Danny Callow said: “The approval of the ESIA and issuance of the environmental permit is a major achievement for our company and brings us to the final stages of the permitting process for Kobada.”

Located approximately 125km south-south-west of Bamako, the Kobada advanced stage gold development project covers an area of approximately 135.7km² and is adjacent to the Niger River and the border of Guinea.

Last month, the company completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the gold project.

According to the study, the project holds significant production potential with a 3Mtpa operation.

Over its 16-year life of mine, the project is expected to produce 1.2 million ounces (Moz) of gold. It is anticipated to have 100,000oz of average annual gold production during the first ten years.

According to the DFS, the project is estimated to entail a total capital investment of nearly $550m.

The project will comprise a hybrid thermal and solar photovoltaic power plant with battery energy storage capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to estimates, the mine holds a total proven and probable mineral reserve of 1,252,522oz of gold while its total measured and indicated resource stands at 1.71Moz.

African Gold is due to explore more than 5,500ha of prospective mineral trends within trucking distance at the project.

The company holds a 90% stake in the Kobada Gold Project while the remaining 10% is held by the Government of Mali.