The permit, which was recently signed by the country’s President Alpha Condé, covers an area of 319km2 at Yomboyeli managed by Forecariah Guinea Mining (FGMSA).

FGMSA is a subsidiary of Forecariah Holdings, a 50-50 joint venture between Bellzone and China International Fund (CIF).

The mining permit has been awarded to Guinea Development Corporation Mining and Oil and Gas (GDC), a subsidiary of CIF. Under the agreement signed by the joint venture partners the permit needs to be transferred to FGMSA.

The 15-year permit has scope for further extensions. The Forécariah iron ore mine commenced production in May 2012.

FGMSA CEO Glenn Baldwin said: "The granting of the Mining Permit for the Forécariah Joint Venture operations follows on from the letter of authorisation received from the Minister for Mines on 22 May 2012 and concludes the permitting process, allowing the operations to move forward with certainty towards first export."

Bellzone Mining owns iron ore and nickel/copper permits in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, with Kalia Mine Project as its flagship project.