Vista Gold has received key aboriginal and water authorisations from Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) Government for the Mt Todd Gold Project.

The project secured the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) certificate and a surface water extraction licence.

For the Mt Todd project, the AAPA certificate covers the 1,501km² of exploration licences contiguous with the mining leases.

The AAPA certificate serves as legal means to identify and protect sacred sites from damage.

Vista president and CEO Frederick H Earnest said: “The AAPA certificate for the area of the exploration licenses complements the existing AAPA certificate for the areas within the mining licences and affirms our present practice of working closely with Jawoyn people to ensure constant communication and coordination in identifying and protecting sacred and culturally significant sites.”

The surface water extraction licence for the project enables the company to annually harvest 3.4 gigalitres of surface run-off to facilitate processing and mining activities.

Valid for ten years, the licence has the right to renew.

Earnest added: “Every mining project needs water and with the approval of the Surface Water Extraction Licence, we have assured the right to capture surface run-off during the wet season and store it for use during the balance of the year.”

The approvals follow the recent approval of the Mining Management Plan (MMP) from the NT Government for the Mt Todd project, which is claimed to be the biggest undeveloped gold resource in Australia.

Located around 290km from Darwin, situated on the early Proterozoic Pine Creek Geosyncline (PCG), the Mt Todd gold project is estimated to contain more than 7.8Moz gold resources with significant deposit and potential for district exploration expansion.

As per estimates, the project produces 4.96Moz of gold through its mine life of 13 years. It is expected to have a throughput rate of 50,000 tonnes per day (tpd).