ALKANE Resources has been told that "paperwork is advanced" in the issuing of a mining lease for its $65 million Tomingley Gold Project (TGP), 50 kilometres south-west of Dubbo.
It is almost seven months since the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure approved the project.
Without the lease, the Perth-based company working mostly in central west NSW has been unable to launch the project's construction phase.
But managing director Ian Chalmers expects that the wait will only "push out the start of production" by another month or two, from late November this year to December, or possibly January 2014.
Alkane Resources has engaged in extensive "early works" since getting the thumbs up from the state government.
They have included a start to the building of an access road to the mine site and a 46-kilometre water pipeline from Narromine to Tomingley, expected to be completed in March.
The launch of the construction phase before then would require the company to "import water for dust control", reports Mr Chalmers, who is hoping to receive the lease from the Division of Resources and Energy in a "few weeks".
The TGP, involving both open pit and underground mining, is expected to have a life of about 10 years and produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of gold ore each year.
It concentrates on three deposits near Tomingley called Wyoming One, Wyoming Three and Caloma, although in December 2012 the company announced that it had found more gold at Caloma Two, near the proposed Caloma open pit mine.
Further drilling was scheduled with a view to revising the final resource estimation for inclusion in the development schedule.
The TGP is expected to generate up to 100 jobs during construction and 90 when in production.
Mr Chalmers said Alkane Resources had an EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management) contract with Mintex Pty Ltd that would find and manage the likes of vendors and contractors for the TGP. There were no public objections to the TGP when placed on public exhibition in 2012.
Only eight submissions were received, allowing the department to determine the development application under delegation.
It has imposed 84 conditions on the mine that address issues such as groundwater monitoring, road maintenance in Narromine Shire and rehabilitation of the site.