Australian gold developer West African Resources has received environmental approval for its fully owned Tanlouka Gold Project in Burkina Faso. 

With Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) approval, the company has procured all major permissions needed to obtain the mining licence. 

West African Resources managing director Richard Hyde said: "The approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is a major achievement and brings us to the final stages of the permitting process for Tanlouka.

“We would like to thank the government of Burkina Faso and its permitting bodies, as well as our key stakeholders and local communities for the strong support they have shown for the project. We now have all the major permits required in advance of obtaining our mining licence for the project.”

In addition, the company has received approval from the Burkina Faso Ministry of the Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change.

"Approval of the ESIA is a major achievement and brings us to the final stages of the permitting process for Tanlouka."

West African expects to receive the mining licence from the Ministry of Mines of Burkina Faso by 2017 Q1.

The company also announced that it has appointed Lyndon Hopkins as the chief operating officer and Joanne Thompson as the sustainability manager.

Hyde stated: "These key appointments are integral to building a quality team to advance the Tanlouka Gold Project towards production.”

Hopkins has more than two decades of experience in the gold exploration, development and production. He handled numerous operations in Australian and African gold mines. Previously, he was the CEO of Equigold NL's Ivory Coast operations.

As a sustainability manager, Thompson will have responsibility for developing the company’s community engagement policies and programmes, establish and implement environmental management systems. He will also manage the overall sustainability plan of the project.