Roxgold Inc. (TSX:ROXG) announced that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Burkina Faso has granted the company permitting approval to develop the Bagassi South project, located within its high-grade Yaramoko gold mine in the Houndé greenstone region of the West African country.

“The approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Bagassi South allows us to confirm our development decision and begin mine development and construction for our first growth project on the Yaramoko concession,” Roxgold President and CEO John Dorward said in a press release. The expectation is that Bagassi generates its first ore in the third quarter of 2018.

With the approval of the ESIA, the Toronto-based firm has filed an application for an extension of its mining permit to include the Bagassi South deposits, which marks the final step in the permitting process. A decision regarding the extension from the Roch Marc Christian Kaboré administration is expected by the second quarter of 2018.

Yaramoko is situated specifically in the province of Bale in southwestern Burkina Faso, about 200 km southwest of the capital Ouagadougou. At the site’s 55 Zone, Roxgold is advancing a high-grade gold discovery, which should produce about 652,000 ounces over the next seven years. Total output for 2017 was some 115,000 ounces gold.

Roxgold is one of the top performers among Canadian juniors.

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