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Brazil's mineral production department DNPM has approved the economic development plan (PAE) for Australia-based Crusader Resources' (ASX: CAS) Posse iron ore project in Minas Gerais state, the company said in a statement.
According to Crusader, the PAE will be attached to Posse's environmental license application and will be submitted to a subsequent monthly council meeting. Approval at that meeting is pre-requisite for a full mining license.
"Having the PAE granted is one of the key approvals required and we are really pleased to have the document in hand. We can now attach it to the applications we have prepared for the environmental authorities and present the project to the council meeting, probably in 2013," Crusader's managing director Rob Smakman said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Crusader has been pursuing a lower level environmental license, which would allow mining to start at a restricted rate of 300,000t/y of ROM material.
Since early-2009, Crusader has quadrupled the indicated and inferred iron ore resources at its Posse project in Brazil to 36Mt grading 43.5%, the company said in a statement.
The project's resources now stand at 4.83Mt grading 47.4% in the indicated category and 31.2Mt grading 42.9% in inferred resources.
The Posse iron project is located 30km from Minas Gerais capital, Belo Horizonte. Crusader acquired Posse in September 2007.