West African gold producer Perseus Ltd. confirmed that the Ghanaian Environmental Protection Agency has approved the company’s supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its Edikan gold mine in Ghana. The approval allows Perseus to extend operations to include mining of the Fetish, Bokitsi, Chirawewa (collectively referred to as the Eastern Pits) and Esuajah North gold deposits.

Perseus has been mining and producing approximately 200,000 oz per year (oz/y) of gold from the Abnabna and Fobinso open pits on the western side of its mining lease since operations commenced at Edikan in late 2011. Clearing work and preliminary waste stripping activities in the Eastern Pits area will now commence and significant quantities of ore will start to be mined by the end of 2015.

“We are very pleased to have received the necessary environmental approvals needed to commence activities in the Eastern Pits area of our mining lease at Edikan, and our site team is now looking forward to working with our contractors to ensure that we can deliver the outcomes forecast in our recently updated life of mine plan,” said Jeff Quartermaine, managing director, Perseus Mining. “Having also recently implemented measures to ensure continuous access to power at the Edikan gold mine, we are now experiencing excellent operational performance at the mine and are confident that we will comfortably achieve the previously published production and cost guidance for the 2015 financial year.”

The company also said community members whose farms and dwellings will be impacted by mining activities in the Eastern Pits area have been fully compensated and relocated to rented accommodations while alternative houses are constructed. Planning of the relocation dwellings has been completed and construction work, which had been delayed pending the receipt of mining approvals, can now commence as previously planned.