Cerrado Gold has secured a preliminary licence (LP) from the Tocantins state environmental agency for the Monte Do Carmo (MDC) project in Tocantins, Brazil.

Issued by the Instituto Natureza do Tocantins, the LP marks the first of the three-stage mine permitting process to bring the MDC project into production.

In a press statement, Cerrado Gold said: “The granting of the LP is an important milestone in the licensing process as it outlines all the basic parameters of the project to be accepted by all parties, including the local community and relevant regulatory bodies.”

Upon securing the second licence, which is the installation licence, the company plans to start construction activities for the project.

The final licence will be granted to Cerrado Gold upon completion of construction and the commencement of mine operations.

Cerrado Gold CEO and chairman Mark Brennan said: “The award of the LP is a significant milestone for the MDC project and reflects the great work done by our Brazilian team and represents a significant endorsement from the community and regulators for the development of the project.

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“As previously announced, discussions for project financing are ongoing, and we look forward to the completion of the [feasibility study] in the coming weeks as we work to bring the Monte Do Carmo project into production.”

Last month, Cerrado Gold started loading ore onto the heap leaching pad at its heap leach project in Las Calandrias, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

The Las Calandrias project, which is expected to produce 25koz per annum of gold, marks the company’s first of the two heap leach projects planned to be initiated this year.