Exploration company South Atlantic Gold has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government of Ceará, Brazil, to help advance the Pedra Branca Project in the region.

The agreement will see the Ceará government support the exploration firm with permitting, licence reviews and financial and benefits programmes to support advance the Pedra Branca project’s construction.

South Atlantic Gold CEO Douglas Meirelles said that the MOU marks a commitment to ‘assist, promote and aid’ the funding for the development of the project.

The state government will provide South Atlantic with C$30m in direct and indirect funding from activities pertaining to tax-exemption and economic development programmes.

This funding will be used for exploration and future construction of the project, which is said to be Ceará’s first gold mine.

In a press statement, South Atlantic said: “The company will also work to encourage economic growth in the communities surrounding the project area through sustainable ESG programmes, local human resources development and local supply chain prioritisation, as the project advances.

“The impetus behind the government’s decision is to help expedite the advancement of the project in the region along with its associated economic development with jobs generation, supply chain development and necessary investments to support the economic endeavour of this project.”

Located 280km south-west of Fortaleza, Ceará, the Pedra Branca project has 25 active mineral exploration licences that span 40,000ha.

The project is hosted within the Ceará Central Domain in the northern portion of the Borborema Province. It comprises both the Tróia-Pedra Branca (Cruzeta Comples) and the Ceará Central Complex.