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Lundin Gold commences mining of first production stope at Fruta Del Norte mine

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Global Mining Review,

Lundin Gold Inc. has begun mining of its first production stope at its Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador. Construction of the process plant and tailings facility continue on schedule, with commissioning of the process plant to begin in the third quarter of this year.

Lundin Gold commences mining of first production stope at Fruta Del Norte mine

"Fruta del Norte reached another important milestone on schedule. At the end of May overall construction progress was 73% complete and 88% of the project's CAPEX was committed. The team continues to make great progress as we head towards our first gold pour later this year," said Ron Hochstein, Lundin Gold's President and CEO.

Mine development

Underground mine development reached 7.3 km as at 31 May 2019, vs a target of 7.1 km. Owner's mine crews started mining the first transverse long hole production stope on 16 June 2019 and owner mining is planned to continue to ramp up with additional crews being added as more production stope faces become available.

Critical path work on development to the South Vent Raise was 74 days ahead of plan at the end of May. Raise bore equipment is in country and is being transported and assembled, with drilling of the pilot hole expected to commence in early July. The first underground paste backfill delivery hole has also been completed.

Process plant

The process plant reached 80% completion at the end of May and all major pieces of process equipment have been installed. Wet Commissioning of the initial systems is expected to start in early July and continue throughout the third quarter of this year. The majority of process plant operations and maintenance staff have been hired and will participate in the commissioning process.


The powerline was 88% complete at the end of May, and agreements have been reached on all easements required to complete its construction. Cable stringing is at 65% completion and the Bomboiza substation construction reached 40% completion at the end of May. The project's power supply system remains on target for energisation before hot commissioning later in the third quarter of this year.

Tailings storage facility

Tailings dam construction has reached the elevation required for tailings systems commissioning to begin. Work is continuing to progress on schedule to reach the final starter dam elevation required for operations.

Second draw from senior secured debt facility

On 25 June 2019, the company drew a further US$142 million from its US$350 million facility for a total of US$301 million drawn to date. The next draw is anticipated to occur later in the year as the project nears its production ramp up stage.

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