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US-based Comstock Mining has received permit approvals for underground exploration from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation (NDEP-BMRR) at their Lucerne Mine.

A notice of decision (NOD) approving an engineering design change to Comstock’s water pollution control plan for underground exploration has been issued by the NDEP-BMRR.

The bureau also approved a major modification to the company’s reclamation permit and surety decision for underground development at the mine.

Following the receipt of the permits, the company will be able to construct an underground exploration portal and drift at the north end of the floor in the existing Lucerne Surface Mine.

To be located on previously-disturbed private land, the exploration project is set to begin on 5 September.

The first component of the planned portal and underground drift is a main, northeasterly-trending, 1,280ft long segment and is planned in two phases.

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By GlobalData
"The bureau also approved a major modification to the company’s reclamation permit."

Expected to be about 800ft, this phase is scheduled for completion by the end of this year while the second phase is targeted for early 2016.

During the initial phase, the company will perform about 20,000ft of diamond-core drilling to complete the exploration objectives.

Drilling for the second phase is anticipated to extend just past the mineralised mass of PQ, where Comstock has defined the nearby Woodville Bonanza structures.

The second component is a branching, 740ft long, southeasterly trending segment.

The company plans to commence development of a new underground access to the PQ and Woodville structures by collaborating with American Mine and Tunneling and American Drilling Company.

Comstock Mining president and CEO Corrado De Gasperis said: "These permit approvals and our preparations with AMT allow us to commence the portal and tunnel within two weeks."