VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Peru-focused gold explorer and project developer Lupaka Gold has appointed a contractor to expand, enhance and modify 27 km of road starting from the paved Huacho-Churin-Oyon highway, located about 1 500 m above sea level, up to the Invicta project, located about 3 500 m above sea level.
Work is progressing on three fronts, and TSX-V- and FRA-listed Lupaka advised that the road upgrade was scheduled for completion before April 2018.
This new road will provide access to Invicta for heavy machinery and trucks that can transport large loads of material, reduce travel time, significantly increase safety, and reduce the operational impact on certain local Lacsanga communities.
The existing road will be widened from 4 m to 6 m, a safety berm will be created, and in three key areas the road will be diverted away from local Lacsanga communities.
Crews and equipment were mobilised in early December. Members of the Lacsanga community are being employed by the contractors wherever possible to undertake and supervise road construction initiatives.
"My vision is to transform the well-funded Invicta gold project into a cash-flow-generating asset in short order, with the strong support of our local team. Today's announcement demonstrates that we're taking the right steps in that direction and we envision commencing potential production, with help from a third-party mining contractor, during the second half of 2018,” president and CEO Will Ansley said in a press release on Tuesday.
Lupaka also revealed that it is in the final negotiations to appoint mining contractor PLH as the mining contractor for the Invicta project. The contractor is expected to moblise to site in the first quarter of 2018. Initial development and rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure is expected to take about three months to complete.
Further, Lupaka said it is in advanced discussions with several toll milling facilities and offtake traders for the concentrate, and it also expects to make a decision in this regard during the first quarter of 2018.
Lupaka also recently appointed consulting engineering firm SRK Consulting Canada as the lead contractor to prepare a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its 100%-owned Invicta gold project.
Invicta is an advanced-stage gold/copper polymetallic underground deposit located about 120 km by road north of Lima. Lupaka expects the PEA to be completed before the end of March, 2018.
While the approved environmental impact assessment allows for mine production of 1 000 t/d, the PEA will focus on an initial mining rate of 350 t/d, and will update the existing mineral resource to conform with the current metal price environment. Transmin Metallurgical Consultants, a metallurgical consulting firm in South America, will be responsible for reviewing metallurgy, as well as processing and recoveries.
Invicta currently holds compliant measured resources of 131 000 t grading 6.65 g/t gold equivalent, for 28 000 oz of gold, and an indicated resource of 8.5-million tonnes grading 3.43 g/t gold equivalent, for 939 000 oz of contained gold.
The existing inferred resource classification estimates 2.53-million tonnes of ore grading 2.9 g/t gold equivalent, to hold 236 000 oz of contained gold.
The 2012 mineral resources were based on a 1.3 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff, assuming a gold price of $1 500/oz, $32.50/oz silver, $3.90/lb copper, $1.05/lb for lead and $1/lb zinc.