Lundin Gold Inc. is pleased to announce the completion and approval of the Environmental Impact Study (the "EIS") by the Government of Ecuador for its Fruta del Norte Project (the "Project") located in Ecuador.
"This is a significant accomplishment for the Company and the development of Fruta del Norte. The next and final step in the environmental approval process, paving the way for proceeding with the development of the Project, is the granting of the Environmental Licence, a procedural process expected to be completed over the next few weeks," remarked Lundin Gold President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Hochstein. "The approval of the EIS demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Ecuador to move Fruta del Norte towards construction and eventual production."
The process of approval of the EIS started with the submission of a draft EIS in April 2016, followed by a public participation process coordinated and developed with the Ministry of Environment (the "MOE"), and the delivery of a final EIS to the MOE in August.
Following several key management hires and the award of a services contract to G Mining Services Inc. ("G Mining"), the Company now has its project management team in place. Together, Lundin Gold and G Mining will form an integrated project team to manage all aspects of the project, covering optimization of all areas of the project design and execution plan, basic engineering, detailed engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. G Mining is a multidisciplinary mining and project management company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They offer a wide range of services to mining projects worldwide with extensive experience in gold mining projects. They have completed projects in Canada, Africa and South America, including its most recent project in Suriname. Louis Gignac, Chairman of G Mining, commented that "Fruta del Norte is one of the most exciting undeveloped projects in the Americas. G Mining is proud to join Lundin Gold management and be part of the team that will develop FDN into a responsible, capital effective operation for its stakeholders."
Other key advancements on the Project include:
- award of a contract to Ausenco Services Canada Inc. for completion of plant layout optimization, basic engineering and detailed engineering for the process plant and surface facilities;
- award of a contract to Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) from Vancouver, Canada, for surface geotechnical design and associated field investigations. The drilling and field investigations component of this program is scheduled to commence in late October, 2016;
- award of contracts to NCL Ingenieria y Construccion S.A. (NCL) of Santiago, Chile for underground mine design; SRK Consulting in Vancouver, Canada, for mine geotechnical services; and Alan Auld Group Ltd. in Saskatoon, Canada, for mine portal and soft tunneling design services. All three companies completed the equivalent scope of work for the Feasibility Study and continue to progress and develop detailed designs.
The early works field investigations for the mine development has been completed with the results of over 2,000 metres of geotechnical drilling supporting the advancing of the designs of the mine portals, twin declines and the north ventilation raise.
Lundin Gold is currently out for tender for the mine development contract to a select group of prequalified bidders. The scope of this contract will cover mine portal construction and over 6,000 metres of development. This contract is expected to be awarded in January 2017 for mobilization and commencement of mine portals construction in May 2017.