(REUTERS) -- Mercator Minerals Ltd said it has obtained permits to start mining at its wholly owned El Pilar Project in Mexico.

The Canadian company said it made the final payment for the change of land use permit on Jan. 12.

Mercator, which has already obtained final water concessions, surface rights and a construction permit, expects to release an updated feasibility study on the project in the first quarter 2012.

The property is situated in a highly prospective belt of copper deposits ranging from La Caridad in the south to central Arizona in the north.

On Jan. 16, the Vancouver-based mining company said it expects to produce 90 million to 100 million copper equivalent pounds in 2012.

Shares of Mercator closed at C$1.90 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.