Wholly owned subsidiary of gold development company Romarco Minerals, Haile Gold Mine has signed an agreement with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the Sierra Club to resolve all claims raised by the Sierra Club.

According to the company, the latest agreement eliminates the last obstacle to the SCDHEC mine operating permit, which is said to be final and effective.

Under the terms of the agreement, the total financial assurance for reclamation provided for in the permit will be increased from $60m to $65m over the mine life.

"We are pleased that we were able to find a way to avoid delay and litigation and keep our employees working."

Sierra Club has agreed to bring no suit or claim against the Haile project for the current permit.

Romarco Minerals president and CEO Diane Garrett said: "We are pleased that we were able to find a way to avoid delay and litigation and keep our employees working.

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"We look forward to continuing to work with the community and focusing on financing the project to develop the Haile gold mine. With the recently completed private placement the company has sufficient cash to afford some flexibility on timing of the overall project financing."

The company, which primarily focuses on production in the US, has completed a positive feasibility study and has received all major permits for its Haile gold mine in South Carolina.

The tolling agreement signed on 5 January is said to extend the time for filing an appeal to the South Carolina Mining Counsel for Sierra Club only.