COVID-19

Antioquia Gold suspends Cisneros expansion

Canada-based producer Antioquia Gold has put the plant expansion at the Cisneros operation in Colombia on hold as it works to rectify water supply issues and continues to protect its workers from the spread of COVID-19

 The Cisneros gold operation in Colombia

The Cisneros gold operation in Colombia

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In an operational update, the company said the region's dry season over the last two months has created water supply problems that have not allowed the processing plant to reach nameplate treatment levels. Crews are now working on a new water line; once permits are obtained, water supply should follow in about four weeks.

Additionally, it has opted to suspend the plant expansion project as part of its contingency programme to provide a safe, healthy workplace for its workers. Colombia's COVID-19 cases are still on the rise, thus it has moved to comply with local, national and international health guidelines.

In the meantime, Antioquia has brought in a new contractor to aid it with the preparation of sublevels required for mining of the narrow veins with long hole stoping. It noted that work to develop and mine the Nus shear zone will be accelerated.

"In a few months, the long hole development program will allow us to have a greater contribution of high-grade material from narrow veins in production," president and chief executive Gonzalo de Losada said. "This will be reflected in better mill head grade and, as a consequence, better operational and financial results for the company."

He added: "Once the new water supply is on-line, we look forward to reaching process plant production levels of 600t/d again. We are also committed to doing our part in overcoming the current pandemic and look forward to completing the plant expansion at the appropriate time."

Antioquia reported a total 2,913 troy ounces of gold produced at Cisneros in the March quarter, at an average 388t/d with a recovery of gold to concentrate of 96.3%.

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