Keras Resources has received permission to carry out a bulk sampling metallurgical testwork programme at its Nayega manganese project in northern Togo.

The company noted that obtaining the permit marks a significant step in the exploitation permit approval process.

Under the bulk sampling programme, an unnamed manganese-based alloys producer will process 10,000t of beneficiated manganese ore for metallurgical testwork to determine the suitability of the ore in their manganese smelting facilities.

“The approval for a large-scale bulk sample is a significant step forward.”

Estimated to cost around $1.5m, the testwork will be fully funded by the third-party end-user.

Keras Resources expects to achieve a 10mm to 75mm manganese product from a simplified washing, scrubbing and screening operation.

According to the company, this will offer real-time data in relation to the operating costs and logistics of exporting beneficiated manganese to third party end-users.

Keras Resources CEO Russell Lamming said: “Over the past several months we have been engaged in constructive discussions with the Ministry of Mines and other regulatory bodies in Togo on how to progress the Nayega project into a profitable mine.

“The approval for a large-scale bulk sample is a significant step forward in those discussions. In parallel with the in-country discussions, we have secured a funding agreement with a third-party end-user that potentially may share significant synergies with a West African manganese producer.”

The company has completed the tender process with local mining contractors and logistics companies and expects to award the contracts later this month.

It is focused on developing its manganese assets in the country into a producing mine.