True Gold Mining has been granted an environmental permit by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, for the development of the Kao deposit at its Karma Gold project.

The permit includes approval for the Kao environmental and social impact assessment and relocation action plan and advances True Gold’s application for an exploitation permit for Kao.

The company noted that the Kao exploitation permit will be an added asset to the one for Karma, which was approved by the Burkina Faso Council of Ministers in December 2013.

Following the Karma exploitation permit, True Gold will develop the Goulagou I, Goulagou II and Rambo deposits and construct associated facilities, once they have been approved by the President of Burkina Faso.

"Karma [is] firmly on track to becoming Burkina Faso’s next gold mine."

True Gold president and CEO Dwayne Melrose said: "Receipt of the environmental permit for Kao, following the successful release of the feasibility study results in December, keeps Karma firmly on track to becoming Burkina Faso’s next gold mine."

The company will initially mine the pits with the highest-grade mineral reserves for a quick payback and strong cashflow from the outset.

The first gold pour is expected at the end of 2015, with pre-stripping commencing 12 months prior.

The mine will have the capacity to process four million tonnes per annum.

It is expected to produce an average of 97,000oz of gold per year over eight and a half years, with direct cash operating costs of about $591 per ounce.

Image: Gold is one of the preferred commodities for equity investment. Image: courtesy of Bertrand Rieger / Corbis.