IMX Resources has taken the first step to advance the Ntaka Hill nickel-copper project with the submission of an environmental scoping study (ESS) to the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) of Tanzania.

The Tanzanian government environmental approval will help progress the Ntaka Hill Ni-Cu project into production by mid 2015.

The Ntaka Hill project is part of the Nachingwea joint venture in southern Tanzania and is held by IMX Resources and Continental Nickel of Canada (CNI) with 25% and 75% stakes, respectively.

The ESS is the first stage of community consultation and environmental site investigations into potential social and environmental impacts.

IMX Resources said the ESS details the proposed terms of reference for further necessary environmental and social studies before project approval will be granted.

Upon approval by NEMC, the joint venture will take ESS as the basis to further prepare a detailed environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) which is scheduled for submission in the fourth quarter 2012.

A second phase of community consultation, site investigations and baseline studies are planned to commence in March 2012, forming the next steps for the environmental approval process.

Tanzanian based environmental consulting group MTL Consulting Company has prepared the ESS and conducted the various site investigations and environmental baseline studies.