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Crystallex International Corp. (KRY) shares are up as much as 13% Thursday morning after the company announced that the Venezuelan government approved the environmental impact study for its Las Cristinas mine.

One step closer to the development of the long-awaited open pit gold mine, the company says it now awaits the final permit required for the construction of the mine which is also to be issued by the government.

In a release, Crystallex said the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Venezuela (MinAmb) requested Thursday the posting of a Compliance Guarantee Bond and payment of certain taxes for the issuance of the Environmental permit.

This apparently represents the last stage in the environmental permit process and Crystallex confirmed that they have posted the bond and paid the taxes as per the request.

"The request by the Venezuelan Government for the posting of the Compliance Guarantee Bond and taxes further confirms our understanding that we've complied with the very final stage of the procedure for receipt of the environmental permit." Mr. Gordon Thompson, Crystallex President and CEO, said in the release.

As the focus switches to the final permit for construction of the mine, Wellington West analyst Catherine Gignac notes the substantial new capital that will be required by Crystallex in order to developed Las Cristinas.

"Presuming the final mining permit is received, upwards of US$325 million could be required for project development," Catherine Gignac said in a note to clients.

She maintained her C$10 price target and left unchanged her "strong buy" recommendation on the stock.

Crystallex was up C$0.68¢ to C$4.93 on the Toronto exchange at 11:15 a.m. and up $0.59 to $4.50 in New York as of 11:50 a.m.

Source: Crystallex One Step Away From Las Cristinas Permit Being Approved