St Augustine Gold and Copper’s joint-venture partner Nationwide Development Corporation (Nadecor) has secured Philippines approval to go ahead with development of the $2bn King-king copper-gold project in Mindanao.

Declaration of mining project feasibility (DMPF) approval granted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Philippines Government is the mine’s last significant permit required.

Approval will allow the companies to initiate mine development, construction and operation in the Republic of the Philippines.

"Receipt of the DMPF removes the last significant hurdle to move forward with the development."

Nadecor can now proceed with the development and operating stages of its mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) No. 009-92-XI.

MPSA includes extraction and sale of copper and gold, as well as associated minerals within the 1,548ha area.

DMPF approval has been secured following the receipt of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in February 2015.

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St Augustine Gold and Copper president and CEO Paolo Villar said: "Receipt of the DMPF removes the last significant hurdle to move forward with the development of the King-king Project and represents our most significant milestone to date.

"We look forward to working with Nadecor and all local stakeholders to take King-king to the next stage of development."

The King-king project is located in Compostela Valley and is expected to recover 3.16 billion pounds of copper and 5.43 million ounces of gold over its 25-year mine and process life.