The Mauritanian Government has declined to grant a key permit to Kinross Gold for the second phase of expansion of the company’s Tasiast project.
Kinross’ Mauritanian subsidiary Société d’Extraction de Tamaya (SETSA) previously submitted an application for the conversion of the Tasiast Sud exploration permit into one for exploitation.
The Mauritanian Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines turned down the conversion application as a result of SETSA’s failure to meet feasibility criteria.
However, Kinross has contested the government’s decision and contends that all requirements for the conversion have been met.
In a statement, Kinross Gold said: “The company disagrees with this decision, and believes the decision lacks legal justification and that all requirements for conversion have been met.
“The company understands the government’s position to be that any discussions are to be initiated by a proposal from Kinross that would provide greater overall economic benefits to the country.”
The company is now engaged in negotiations with the Mauritanian Government in an attempt to arrive at an amicable solution relating to its operations in the country.
Kinross Gold president and CEO Paul Rollinson said: “The company is assessing the Government of Mauritania’s request to enter into mutually beneficial discussions respecting all of Kinross’ activities in Mauritania, with a view to improving economic benefits to the country, including the potential impact on the Phase Two expansion.”
Meanwhile, the company’s first phase of expansion at the Tasiast project is currently nearing completion.
The expansion is expected to enable the project to achieve a throughput capacity of 12,000t per day by the end of next month.
Tasiast produced 58,778 ounces (oz) of gold equivalent for the quarter ended 31 March this year.
Kinross is a dual listed company with operations in the US, Brazil, Russia, Mauritania, Chile and Ghana.