This week, Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD,NYSE:EGO) received a project permit approval (PPA) for its Eastern Dragon project from China's National Development and Reform Commission. The PPA is the most significant permit required to build the mine. Eldorado put Eastern Dragon on care and maintenance in 2013, and has been waiting for the permit approval since 2011. Certainly, the news has "been a long time coming" as Kerry Smith of Haywood Securities states in a note to clients. The open-pit and underground Eastern Dragon project currently holds 3 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves at an exceptionally high grade of 7.7 g/t gold and 70 g/t silver. The company sold 20 percent of the project to China's CDH Investments in February, anticipating that the participation of CDH in Eastern Dragon would "assist in the completion of development and advancement to full production." Eldorado owns a 75-percent interest in the project, while a minority joint venture partner holds the remaining 5 percent. "The PPA is the major permit approval required in the development of what we consider one of the highest quality gold assets in China," said Eldorado Gold CEO Paul Wright. "This permit represents years of hard work and determination by our team in China, in combination with key support from the Canadian and Chinese governments." With the PPA in hand, Eldorado expects to commence site work in July. Initial work will focus on power and water supply, as well as testing the mill circuit. The company still needs forestry permits to commence earthwork at the project, but it expects to commence this work in Q3 2015. Haywood sees those permits being granted earlier since the PPA is the "golden stamp" needed in China.