Paramount Gold Nevada, an American exploration company, is moving closer to securing approval for its Grassy Mountain gold and silver mine, from the US state of Oregon.

Oregon’s Technical Review Team, which includes agencies involved in the chemical process mining programme, have conceded that the company’s consolidated permit application (CPA) for the mining project is now complete.

Thus, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) can now issue a notice to proceed. The state agency is expected to issue final consolidated permits for the mine one year from the issuing the notice to proceed, in accordance with the state laws.

As part of the permitting process, the state must also complete environmental evaluation (EE) and socio-economic analysis for the mine. The scope of EE was approved earlier this year and Stantec, a consulting firm, has started the EE that is expected to be completed early next year.

Paramount CEO and director Rachel Goldman said: “We would like to acknowledge the commitment of the State permitting agencies and cooperating agencies for their efforts in ensuring the Grassy CPA meets all the necessary State requirements as we strive to build the best possible project for all stakeholders.  We look forward to our continued collaboration on the next important phase of permit drafting.”

The Grassy Mountain gold-silver project is located in Malheur County, about 22 miles south of Vale, Oregon and 70 miles west of Boise, Idaho.

Totalling 8,280 acres of land, the mine project has three patented lode claims, 455 unpatented lode claims and nine mill site claims and a lease for land surface and mineral rights.

Paramount acquired the project from Calico Resources in 2016 and is advancing the project to begin production.

A feasibility study on the project was submitted last October, outlining a profitable small-footprint, underground mine. It is estimated that the mine with an initial 8-year mine life can produce around 362,000 ounces of gold and 425,000 ounces of silver.

Its average annual production is expected to be around 47,000 ounces of gold and 55,000 ounces of silver with a grading of 6.5 grams per tonne (g/T) of gold and 9.6g/T of silver.