It means the project can move into the trial mining stage, along with advancing detailed engineering work, financial modelling and mine finance evaluation.
Chairman Patrick Cheetham described it as “a major value-adding milestone” for the company which puts the project on the map as just one of few permitted deposits of perlite and high-quality natural pozzolan in the United States.
"This positive mine permit decision comes after 2½ years of mine planning, environmental studies and reporting and I am very proud of the tremendous effort put in by our employees with limited budgets and resources,” Cheetham said in a statement.
“We can now move forward with the staged development of mining and mineral processing operations at the CS Project free from the ground disturbance limitations that have previously constrained our ability to extract and process large scale samples for customer development. This is required to secure offtake agreements and the grant of the mining permit will be a major catalyst in this process.”
He added: “The mine permit comes at a propitious time as cement industry demand is growing for natural pozzolan as a fly ash replacement and the horticultural demand for perlite is increasing with the rising cultivation of medicinal marijuana.”