Columbus Gold has secured authorisation from the French Government to use cyanide at its Montagne d’Or gold mine.
At present, the company is operating four drill rigs at its wholly owned Montagne d’Or gold deposit, Paul Isnard Project, in French Guiana.
Columbus Gold aims to complete a feasibility study of the project by the end of 2016.
Russia-based Nordgold is funding all expenditures at the 3.8 million ounce Montagne d’Or and will earn a 50.01% interest.
The company has a right to earn the interest by funding a minimum of $30m in expenditures and completing a bankable feasibility study by no later than March 2017.
In 2014, Nordgold spent $16m on the mine.
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Columbus Gold CEO Robert Giustra said: "The authorisation of cyanide use is a clear message from the French Government that it is committed to developing the vast gold potential of French Guiana.
"It’s an essential and very positive development for Columbus that greatly increases the level of confidence with respect to the development of our Montagne d’Or gold deposit."
The Paul Isnard Gold project consists of eight mining concessions covering an area of 190km² and is accessible through an all season forest road from the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.
The project occurs within the Guiana Gold Belt that stretches from western Venezuela eastward through Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana and then into Brazil.