Western Australian iron ore company Sundance Resources has secured a mining permit from the Republic of Congo to develop an iron ore mine at the Nabeba iron ore deposit.
The high-grade deposit is a part of Sundance's Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project and the Nabeba deposit represents the first stage of the project's development.
Located in the Sangha region of the central African country, Nabeba is a hematite and itabirite deposit.
Sundance will develop and mine the deposit, projected to generate 35 million tonnes of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO)-quality iron ore every year for a minimum of ten years.
Sundance managing director and CEO Giulio Casello remarked that in addition to the recently signed Mbalam Convention in Cameroon, the current development enables the company to commence development with confirmation of financing.
Sundance has undertaken the development of a $4.7bn Mbalam rail, port and iron ore mine on the borders of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.
The project will contribute significantly to the Republic of Congo's economy, as well as accelerating other iron ore projects in the region, according to the company.
The Congo Mining Permit completes all requisite conditions under the Scheme Implementation Agreement with Hanlong Mining Investment of Africa, expected to close on 26 February 2013.
Approval from the government also allows Sichuan Hanlong Group of China to complete a proposed A$1.14bn ($1.2bn) takeover of Sundance, reported Bloomberg.
China Development Bank previously delayed its approval for the deal, citing a further review of the mining permit.
Sundance has total hematite resources of 775.4 million tonnes at 57.2% Fe in both Congo and Cameroon, of which Nabeba comprises 309 million tonnes at 62.25% Fe.