Auroch Minerals has submitted the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report to the Mozambique ministry of coordination of environmental affairs (MICOA) on the proposed mining activities at its Manica gold project.

The EIA was conducted by Mozambique environmental consultancy EnviroSig, which is registered with MICOA and SLR Consulting Africa. The assessment allowed Auroch Minerals to comply with the terms of the 25-year mining concession that was granted in March 2011, and the on-going development and exploitation of its gold resources.

Auroch noted that significant work was also completed as part of the EIA process, that forms part of an integral component of the project’s stage one definitive feasibility study (DFS).

The DFS included in-fill drilling and metallurgical assay results at Dot’s Luck and Guy Fawkes, which together with the historical database, provided the data and material for additional metallurgical testwork.

"Auroch will now work with MICOA to ensure all environmental regulations are met and adhered to."

Metallurgical testwork was performed to confirm preliminary recovery factors, which are required to establish the chemical composition of the gold-bearing ores to be processed.

The final report is due in March this year and the gold plant process design has been updated, mass balances recalculated and key equipment lists re-priced to pre-feasibility study accuracy level, to establish water consumption and waste disposal rates.

Auroch noted that surface geotechnical studies were also completed for the tailings disposal site and for the placement and preliminary design of the gold plant infrastructure.

Royal HaskoningDHV completed the preliminary open pit designs, which included capital and working cost estimates.

Basil Read Matomo completed the preliminary gold plant and infrastructure capital and working cost estimates.

Auroch Minerals managing director Dean Cunningham said that submission of the EIA to MICOA is a major milestone in the development of the project.

"Auroch will now work with MICOA to ensure all environmental regulations are met and adhered to," Cunningham said.