Environmental approval has been secured for Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields' joint venture Gruyere Gold Project, 200km east of Laverton in Western Australia (WA).

Awarded by Western Australia Minister for Environment Albert Jacob, the environmental approval is the precursor to secondary approvals currently being evaluated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum and Department of Environment Regulation.

Gold Road managing director and CEO Ian Murray said: “Achieving environmental approval is an important and clears the path for the project’s mining proposal, project management plan and works approvals, all of which have been submitted.

“We anticipate receiving these final approvals in February 2017, immediately following which we will commence construction of the processing plant and development work on the Gruyere open-pit mine.

“I would like to acknowledge the commitment of the entire Gold Road and the project team in delivering these milestones in a period of high activity and transition for the project.”

The project is in the final stages of evaluating tender submissions for important works agreements. Further contracts are required for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the process plant and associated infrastructure, bulk earthworks, energy supply for the power station and gas pipeline, as well as long lead-time equipment, and catering.

"Following these final approvals, we will commence construction of the processing plant and development work on the Gruyere open-pit mine."

Final decisions are expected in the March quarter of this year.

Gold Road holds interests in tenements in around 5,000km2 in the Yamarna Belt, a highly prospective and unexplored gold mineralisation region in Western Australia.

Yamarna leases host gold resource of around 6.6 million ounces, including 6.2 million ounces at the Gruyere deposit.

The feasibility study for Gruyere was completed in October last year.

This study indicated that the project can produce 270,000oz per annum for 13 years.

Image: Water and sewerage connection work at the site. Photo: courtesy of Gold Road Resources.