Aim-listed GoldStone Resources has received notice that the Ghanaian Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) has recommended the granting of an expanded mining lease in respect of the Akrokeri-Homase gold project and it is now subject to ratification by the relevant Ghanaian Ministerial bodies.
Further to the Homase South Pit, the lease now accommodates the proposed Homase North and Homase Central pits, as well as the expanded Homase South Pit, with the increased minable resource by 86 900 oz of gold at depth, representing a 257% increase on the previous estimate of 33 800 oz of gold, within the existing Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource.
GoldStone is in the process of updating the definitive economic plan (DEP).
The granting of the lease will be for an initial period of ten years to coincide with the date of the award of the original mining lease.
Upon receipt of an environmental permit for the Homase South Pit, based on the original lease, a corresponding application to the Ghanaian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be submitted for the lease.
The original baseline data used in the initial application to the EPA included the expanded area within the lease.
GoldStone says it continues to liaise closely with the EPA regarding the issue of the environmental permit and with the Ghanaian Minerals Commission on the operational permits for the Homase South Pit.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused delays in this regard, it noted that it remains in a position to immediately start operations upon receipt of the permits, with an estimated timeline for the first gold pour being within two months of such grant.
GoldStone has now taken delivery of the majority of the processing plant required at Homase South.
It has also received delivery of pumps, carbon in column columns, electrical control panels and 4 x 500 kVA diesel generators at site, ensuring that operations at site will be protected from the risk of unstable electricity supply, it notes.