* Says environmental permit essential for mining license
* Says mining license for Aurora expected later this year
Sept 28 (Reuters) - Junior gold explorer Guyana Goldfields Inc GUY.TO said it received environmental approval for its flagship Aurora Gold project in northern Guyana.
The Toronto-based company said the environmental permit from the Guyanese Environmental Protection Agency is an essential requirement for the approval of the final mining license, which it expects later this year from the Guyanese government.
Earlier this month, Guyana Goldfields, which is primarily focused on the exploration and development of gold deposits in Guyana, said it plans to sell its non-core assets to focus on its key mines in the South American country -- Aurora Gold and the Aranka properties. [ID:nSGE68E0HI]
The Aurora property is targeted to begin production in the second half of 2012.
The company is also in talks with the government for a mineral license, another key component of the mining license, it said in a statement.
On Monday, Patrick Sheridan, founder and chief executive of Guyana Goldfields, was fired from his position as the CEO and chairman of Goldstone Resources Inc GRC.TO. [ID:nSGE68Q0IL]
Shares of the company, which have gained about 53 percent in value in the past three months, closed at C$10.54 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)