Australian gold developer West African Resources is set to advance its Tanlouka Gold Project in Burkina Faso after the company received approval from the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change.

Approval was granted for the company’s resettlement action plan (RAP) and the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) in relation to the mining permit application for Tanlouka.

The company said that this is the penultimate part of the permitting process for the project.

"We expect to receive the mining permit for the project before the end of the year."

By the end of this year, the company expects the final decision to grant the mining permit, made by the Council of Ministers and decreed by the Government of Burkina Faso.

West African Resources managing director Richard Hyde said: “We have completed the final step of the permitting process for the Tanlouka Gold Project.

“The process has been relatively smooth since submitting our application in October, 2015, and is a credit to our in country team and consultants. We expect to receive the mining permit for the project before the end of the year.”

West African Resources announced maiden mineral resource estimates for the M1 and M3 prospects, as well as an updated estimate for the M5 deposit at the Tanlouka Gold project.

The estimates, which were completed by independent resource consultant International Resource Solutions (IRS), were prepared in accordance with the 2012 JORC Code and disclosed in compliance with NI 43-101.

The 105km² Tanlouka Gold project is located towards the east of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso.