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Condor Gold receives permit for high-grade Mestiza opencast mine

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Global Mining Review,


Condor Gold has recently announced that it has been granted an Environmental Permit for the development and exploitation of gold from the high-grade Mestiza opencast mine.

The Mestiza opencast mine mine hosts 92 000 t at a grade of 12.1 g/t gold (36 000 oz contained gold) in the Indicated Mineral Resource category and 341 000 t at a grade of 7.7 g/t gold (85 000 oz contained gold) in the inferred mineral resource category. The Mestiza opencast mine compliments the already permitted La India opencast mine which hosts approximately 8.4 million t at a grade of 3.1 g/t gold (837 000 oz contained gold) in the indicated mineral resource category and 883 000 t at grade of 2.4 g/t gold (68 000 oz contained gold) in the inferred mineral resource category. La India opencast mine has a robust, economically viable pre-feasibility study (PFS) with mineral reserves of 6.9 million t at 3.0 g/t for 675 000 oz gold. Following the permitting of the Mestiza opencast mine, Condor has just over 1 million oz gold opencast mine mineral resources permitted for extraction inclusive of a mineral reserve of 6.9 million t at 3.0g/t gold for 675 000 oz gold.

Highlights include:

  • 1 million oz gold opencast mine mineral resources, including mineral reserves permitted for production.
  • Mestiza opencast mine permitted to deliver robust diluted tonnage of 600 000 t at 5.76 g/t gold for 111 100 oz gold.
  • The permitted high-grade Mestiza opencast mine adds flexibility to the mine schedule, potentially improving project economics and extending the life of mine.

Mark Child, Chairman and CEO, commented: “It is a significant development, after a 15-month process, that Condor has been granted the key Environmental Permit to develop and exploit gold from the high grade Mestiza opencast mine. Condor also has the permit to construct and develop a processing plant with capacity of up to 2800 tpd at La India Project. The permitted high-grade Mestiza opencast mine adds flexibility to the mine schedule, potentially improving project economics and extending the life of mine.”

Significance of Permitting the Mestiza Opencast mine

The Mestiza opencast mine has double the gold grade of La India. The Mestiza opencast mine is likely to be mined earlier to reduce the payback period on the plant and equipment and improve the internal rate of return. La India opencast mine has lower quartile industry all-in-sustaining-cash cost of US$690/oz gold in the PFS which used a gold price of US$1250/oz. A second permitted opencast mine adds flexibility to the mine schedule.

The diluted and modified mining model for the permitted Mestiza opencast mine, undertaken by SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd reported a total diluted tonnage of 600 000 t at 5.76 g/t gold for 111 100 oz gold within the US$1500/oz optimised pit shell used in the 2019 Mineral Resource Estimate update. A cut-off grade of 0.75g/t gold was used.

The Mestiza opencast mine is located within easy trucking distance and less than 4 km from the location of the permitted processing plant.

The Permit granted by the Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources (MARENA) for the Mestiza opencast mine is for an initial 8 year period from the date notification is received by MARENA that production is due to commence and can be renewed for further periods. There are a number of conditions associated with the permit, ranging from the appointment of an Environmental Manager to adherence to environmental management programmes as detailed in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA). For example, priority is to be given to hiring local employees and a reforestation programme will be instigated that plants 10 new trees for every tree cut down. Exploitation is required to commence within 18 months of the grant of the permit, although this can be extended for a further two 18 month periods.

The diluted and modified mining model for the permitted La India opencast mine, undertaken internally by Condor, reports a total diluted tonnage of approximately 7.3 million t at 2.80g/t gold for 656 000 oz gold, excluding low grade material. The total permitted mill feed for La India and Mestiza opencast mines is approximately 7.9 million t at 3.03g/t gold for 767 100 oz gold. Assuming a 92% metallurgical recovery, gold production is estimated to be 706 000 oz gold.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/29042020/condor-gold-receives-permit-for-high-grade-mestiza-opencast/

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