Canadian mining firm Calibre Mining has received a key environmental permit for the development and production of the Pavon Central mine in Nicaragua.

The permit has been issued by the Nicaragua Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.

Last year, the company started mining work at the Pavon Norte open-pit mine, the first of three known gold deposits that host mineral resources in the district. The other two deposits include Pavon Central and Pavon South.

Development work at the Pavon Central project is now being advanced to start production in the first quarter of 2023.

Calibre estimates the Pavon Norte and Central open-pit mines to have 2021 end-of-year mineral reserves of 165,000oz at an average gold grade of 5.07g/t.

Calibre CEO Darren Hall said: “The approval of Pavon Central marks a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to organically grow production, utilising a portion of the installed excess capacity at our Libertad mill.

“We are excited to introduce Pavon Central into the development profile fueling grade-driven production growth in 2023 and 2024 from the 6.49g/t gold reserve.

“We will continue to work closely with regulatory authorities, local communities, and all stakeholders to ensure safe and responsible development and mining at Pavon Central.”

The Pavon property is located within the Natividad and Las Brisas exploration concessions, situated 300km from the Libertad processing facility.

The Centre for an Understanding with Nature (CEN) director-general Alan Bolt said: “Calibre’s continued presence enables us to improve the local economy, contributing to a life without violence or poverty, and generating the necessary resilience to successfully face climate change.”