Apogee Silver has received an environmental mining permit approval from the Bolivian authorities for its Pulacayo project.

The permit will allow the firm to conduct underground exploration and trial mining up to 200tpa.

The firm is planning to start production by custom milling ore from the Pulacayo mine until a planned 400tpa pilot plant is operational, which is expected in 2012.

The firm will conclude the design of the pilot concentrator plant and tailings storage facility in the fourth quarter of 2011, and will obtain an environmental permit for the construction and operation of concentrator in the second quarter of 2012.

Apogee Silver CEO David Gower said the permit will provide an opportunity to start mine development and complete studies for optimising mining methods. The pilot plant will provide a definitive metallurgical flow sheet prior to designing the large mill.