Exploration and development company Ortac Resources has received an approval from the District Mining Bureau, Banská Bystrica, to commence underground mining at its Šturec deposit in Slovakia.
Ortac was granted permission after applying for a trial underground mining application, and is subject to petition in accordance with Act No. 71/1967 Coll. on administrative proceedings.
The company is permitted to carry out mining activities in accordance with the submitted project plan, while the ore is to be extracted using underground mining processes only.
Ortac CEO Vassilios Carellas said that the company looks forward to making preparations to start mining from the Šturec deposit.
"At the same time and as we have previously reported, it is likely that appeals for review by the Slovak Central Mining Bureau of the District Mining Bureau's decision will be lodged, as indeed will calls arise for a judicial review of the process itself," Carellas said.
Located in central Slovakia, the Šturec project is in close proximity to the town of Kremnica and Banská Bystrica.
The Šturec project has two licence areas; the Kremnica mining licence that is spread across an area of 11.8km², and the Lutila exploration licence that occupies 63.2km² of land.
A pre-feasibility study of Šturec's mining areas was conducted in April 2013 by UK-based SRK Consultants, which confirmed the economic viability of the project.
Gold mining activities have taken place at Kremnica since the eighth century and it is believed that about 46,000kg of gold and 208,000kg of silver have been excavated from the sites to date.