Canada-based gold mining company Roxgold has secured an approval from Burkina Faso's environmental ministry to develop the Bagassi South Project in the Yaramoko concession in the country.

The Bagassi South Project is expected to increase the gold production of the company’s Yaramoko Gold Project by nearly 40% to reach more than 150,000 ounces in the near term.

The Yaramoko license spans about 196km2 in the Balé province located in southwestern Burkina Faso. It is contained in the north-east portion of Hounde Greenstone Beltspans, nearly 200km southwest from the capital city of Ouagadougou.

Roxgold says that the approval from the Burkina Faso Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development is a significant milestone in the permitting process while strengthening the development timeline of the Bagassi South Project.

Roxgold president and CEO John Dorward said: “The approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") 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 will take the Bagassi South Project forward by starting underground mine development and construction activities in the first quarter of this year.

Following the ESIA approval, the gold miner has submitted an application seeking an extension of its mining permit to cover the Bagassi South deposits, which represents the last step in the permitting process.

Roxgold says that a decision relating to the extension from the Burkina Faso government is anticipated to come in the second quarter of the year.

As per the results of the feasibility study released by the company, Bagassi South is estimated to hold proven and probable mineral reserves of 170,000 ounces of gold at 11.54 grams per tonne (“g/t”) Au.

The average annual gold production from Bagassi South has been estimated to be 40,000 ounces as per the feasibility study results.