Canadian gold exploration company Fortress Minerals has received a two-year extension to its exploration licence for the Svetloye gold project located in eastern Russia.

The extension provides ownership security up to 31 December 2011 while exploration and evaluation work continues at the project, Fortress said in a statement.

The Svetloye Project consists of nine prospects that occur over a linear distance of 8km, Fortress Minerals said.

The total inferred resources at the Svetloye project is 20.103 million tonnes grading 2.21 g/t gold containing 1.428 million ounces of gold, Fortress said.

Gold mineralisation is associated with extensive zones of vuggy silica, quartz-alunite and quartz-dickite-kaolinite alteration.

The company has submitted an application to convert its exploration licence to a 25-year exploration and mining licence. It hopes to receive final approval early in 2010.