North River Resources has received a notice of preparedness to grant the mining licence for the Namib lead zinc project in Namibia.

The notice has been granted by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Namibia.

With the mining licence in place, the company will be able to take an investment decision for the project and go ahead with its construction.

"This represents an important first step towards the issue of the mining licence for Namib."

According to North River Resources, the area covered by the mining licence application (ML185) is located within Namib Lead and Zinc Mining’s wholly-owned EPL2902.

Under the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act No.33 of 1992, the company is required to submit a written acceptance of the Notice by 28 February 2016.

The application for a mining licence will be considered as lapsed in case no acceptance is filed, or the period for acceptance has not been extended.

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The notice also comprises various terms and conditions related to the work programme, production, environment and Namibian participation in the project that will apply to the mining licence.

North River Resources CEO James Beams said: "We are delighted to receive the notification of preparedness to grant the application for the Namib Mining Licence.

"This represents an important first step towards the issue of the mining licence for Namib."

The Namib lead zinc project is located 25km from the town of Swakopmund and 55km from the port of Walvis Bay and is centred on the underground Namib lead mine which was operational from 1968-1991 earlier.

At present, Namib has a JORC resource of 1,250,000t.