In a bid to bring its Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea online, Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) has submitted the asset’s environmental inception report (EIR) to the country’s regulatory authorities for review.
Kingston noted this now marked the start of the project’s environmental permitting process.
“We are very excited to be taking the first steps down the environmental approvals pathway for our Misima gold project,” Kingston managing director Andrew Corbett said.
“Our initial engagement with [PNG’s Conservation and Protection Authority] has been very constructive, with the quality of the work we have presented benefitting from the operating history of the site and extensive data available to the company.”
Under the PNG Environment Act 2000, developers are required to submit an EIR for the project which outlines the planned scope of investigations to be addressed in the subsequent environmental impact statement (EIS).
As part of the process, Kingston will also formally present the EIR to PNG’s Conservation and Protection Authority to secure feedback and finalise the EIS scope.
Mr Corbett said EIS work will run alongside mining studies for Misima, including the pre-feasibility study which is due to be published this quarter.
Kingston said the fact that Misima was previously mined offers a “clear roadmap” for the company in following the environmental approval process.
To assist with the process, Kingston has appointed Coffey as the lead consultant – pointing out the company had been involved with the mine since 1982.
Following the submission of the EIS, a public engagement campaign will ensue.
The next step will comprise an independent peer review. If these stages are successful, Kingston can expect a ministerial “approval-in-principle” under the Environment Act 2000, followed by final grant of the environmental permit.
Kingston restarted drilling at Misima in October, with two rigs carrying out 8,000m of diamond drilling.
The project has resources of 3.2Moz gold and 18.2Moz silver. Drilling aims to upgrade the estimate as well as extend known mineralisation.