Lydian International Limited (TSX:LYD) ("Lydian" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that construction activities for site earthworks have started at its 100%-owned Amulsar Gold Project in Armenia. Work is underway on key roads, camp platforms, and construction facilities. Top-soil removal (pre-stripping) in the Tigranes pit area is also progressing.
Upgrading of the primary access road from the west side of the project ("RD-5") started several weeks ago and is advancing well. RD-5 will provide access along portions of the conveyor route and to the network of internal roads that interconnect permanent project offices and mine maintenance facilities. More recently, work on the mine haul road from the mine pits to the crusher location started. Other earthworks started recently include construction of platforms for a 680-person camp, project offices, contractor laydown area; and land clearance activities in preparation for opening of the initial phase of the barren rock storage facility.
The commencement of project site earthworks follows several months of preparatory early works and planning activities, including relocation of a major community irrigation pipeline and power line out of the footprint of the heap leach facility (the "HLF"); repair to a community water channel; renovations to a local hotel for accommodations, commissary and local offices; and other upgrades to provide year-round construction utilities.
Overall engineering progress continues to advance and is now greater than 50% complete. Engineering for the mine haul road and the HLF are essentially complete. Tendering and commencing earthworks in the HLF is one of the Company's next major priorities. This work will start with installation of primary HLF surface water sedimentation control structures and contractor laydown areas, followed by primary earthworks later in Q4 2016.
Engineering is sufficiently advanced to support finalization of key equipment packages for award later this quarter, including the crushing plant, overland conveyor and ADR plant equipment packages. Preparation of tender packages for pre-engineered metal buildings is also well advanced and will be released for tender in Q4 2016. Negotiations with the prospective vendor for the initial mining fleet and certain auxiliary mobile equipment are nearing completion and orders will be placed before the end of 2016.
"Our team has accomplished a great deal. In less than three years, we have taken the Amulsar Gold Project through feasibility, permitting, financing, and now to the start of construction. Our funding is in place to proceed, and we expect to be pouring gold in about 18 months. Amulsar will be a large-scale, conventional operation. We expect it to deliver excellent cash flows and already see opportunities for growth," said Howard Stevenson, President and CEO of Lydian.