The Cambodian Ministry of Mines & Energy (MME) has granted a mining licence to Emerald Resources for the Okvau gold project.

In April this year, the Office of Council Ministers provided a letter to Emerald confirming that the Cambodian Government has approved the MME to grant the mining licence in principle.

The grant of the licence is also pending approval for the rezoning of the project area for sustainable use.

“We are excited by the grant of the mining licence as it is a significant achievement on the path forward.”

According to Emerald, the licence covers 11.5km² and is valid for an initial period of 15 years, with the right to two renewals of up to ten years each.

Emerald Resources managing director Morgan Hart said: “We are excited by the grant of the mining licence as it is a significant achievement on the path forward to the development of Okvau gold project later this year and transition into a +100,000 ounce per annum gold producer.

“Importantly, the Okvau gold project development has received strong endorsement from the Cambodian Prime Minister following the Royal Government’s diligent approach to the environmental permitting allowing for the grant of the mining licence for the Okvau gold project.”

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Located in the Mondulkiri province of eastern Cambodia, the project has an initial life of mine of seven years, with initial ore reserves of 14.3Mt at 2.0g/t Au for 907,000oz.

Emerald intends to build a 2Mtpa plant to produce an average of 106,000oz per annum at the project.

The company has secured ongoing working capital funding of up to A$3m from entities related to its directors.

It is currently engaged in finalising development financing for the Okvau project.