UK-based Hochschild Mining has received a key environmental clearance regarding the Mara Rosa gold project in Goiás, Brazil.

The permit was issued by the State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development (SEMAD), the environmental authority of Goiás.

This will allow the company to commence construction of a processing plant and begin mine pre-stripping works.

The environmental licence also enables Hochschild Mining to begin construction of all the required site infrastructure necessary to advance the project’s critical paths.

Hochschild Mining CEO Ignacio Bustamante said: “We are delighted to have received this permit, which is an important milestone for the project. We can now continue development with first production on track for H1 2024.

“We would like to thank all the stakeholders in Brazil, including the environmental and sustainable development secretary of Goias and the state’s executive government.”

The company added the Mara Rosa gold project to its portfolio through the acquisition of Amarillo Gold, which was completed in April this year.

Mara Rosa is located in the municipality of Mara Rosa, around 360km from the state capital of Goiania.

It hosts the flagship Posse Gold deposit and other advanced drill targets.

Posse is a brownfield site comprising two small pits from the previous operation along with other infrastructure. It is expected to have an annual production of 102,000oz of gold for the first four years of operation and thereafter 84,000oz per year, considering an initial mine life of ten years.