Continental Gold Limited ("Continental" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update for its Buriticá project in Antioquia, Colombia. The Company remains debt-free and well-funded with approximately $130 million in its treasury.
The Company wishes to reiterate guidance that the second and final environmental license modification will be submitted to Corantioquia in the fourth quarter of 2013. Corantioquia, the autonomous regional corporation responsible for issuing and controlling environmental permits in Antioquia, is the same agency that approved the Company's first environmental permit modification on August 30, 2012, allowing the Company to commence construction of a six-kilometre switchback road and begin underground development by building an access tunnel. The Company continues to regularly meet with and update Corantioquia on the modification plans, and hosted a site visit to Buriticá last week for the Director of Corantioquia in Santa Fe de Antioquia and the team leader responsible for evaluating the second modification.
On August 20, 2013, the Company celebrated 365 days without a lost-time accident for employees. This significant achievement validates extensive safety procedures implemented over the past two years. To date, the Company remains lost-time accident free - representing approximately 1,123,296 man hours.
The underground development pace has improved at the Higabra Valley tunnel, which will eventually serve as the main haulage line in a production scenario. Material changes to the development team were made late in the second quarter, resulting in a consistent advance rate of 2-3 metres per day (see Figure 1).
The Company has purchased approximately 99% of the hectares required for future infrastructure at the Buriticá project, and remains on track and within budget to complete the remaining land purchases well ahead of construction. This represents an increase from the 90% completion rate last reported on June 25, 2013.
Based on road-building experience gained from constructing the dirt road to the Veta Sur Ramp, the Company now has the in-house capability to build a similar dirt road to the Higabra Valley. The budget for this road is anticipated to be approximately $6 million, with construction to commence prior to year-end and expected to take six to nine months to complete.
Preliminary infrastructure layout in the Higabra Valley has been finalized, and will be utilized in the pre-feasibility study ("PFS") to be completed in late 2014. Civil works engineering is advancing in order to provide accurate PFS cost estimates for earthworks and foundations (see Figure 2).
"Filing the second environmental permit amendment remains our number one focus as, once approved, all major permits required to build the mine will be completed," commented Mark Moseley-Williams, President and COO. "Additionally, I am very pleased with the improvements to the development cycle time as this bodes well for the future of this project."