JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Moving forward with the engineering and procurement of the process plant for its Fruta del Norte gold project, in Ecuador, TSX-listed Lundin Gold has ordered long-lead time process plant equipment, with process plant detailed engineering expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Currently, soft tunnelling at the project has advanced about 23 m in the first decline and 7 m in the second, and the transition from soft tunnelling to hard rock development is expected to begin, as scheduled, by the end of the year. Further, the facilities to support mine development, including offices, a mine dry, a warehouse, maintenance facilities, and a batch plant, have also been built and are operational.
"The project has very quickly transitioned from basic to detailed engineering and on-site earthwork and mining activities have successfully ramped up according to plan," said CEO Ron Hochstein.
Meanwhile, the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 42 km, 230 kV transmission line that will connect the national grid at Bomboiza to Fruta del Norte was awarded to a consortium that will be formed by two Ecuadorian companies, Coinfect Ingenieros Contratistas and Energic y Petrolia's Inexpertly.
The draft environmental impact assessment report for the power line was submitted to the Ministry of Environment in May, and the company expects to receive final approval and granting of the licence by the end of the year.
In terms of major earthworks on the project, activities are advancing, including clearing of the plant site, construction of the main north access road and the river road on site.
The earthworks for the 1 000-person construction camp is mostly complete, along with the installation of utilities. Building out of the facilities has begun and the construction camp is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.