The US$76.5 million fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract includes construction of a 1,250-tonne-per-day process plant.
Other planned construction work which is not included in the currently agreed EPC contract involves the development of the underground mine, confined camp, powerline, dry stack tailings facility and the establishment of an analytical laboratory in the local community.
Work will begin in February, with commissioning anticipated during Q2 of 2022 and production ramp-up in the following quarter.
"While we recognize the challenges of building during this unprecedented time, we believe the strict and effective COVID-19 protocols that we have implemented on-site ... limit our risk. This news marks another important milestone on our path to production at Las Chispas," chief executive N. Eric Fier said.
Ausenco is currently completing the Las Chispas feasibility study and is advancing its detailed engineering and construction management plan. The detailed engineering is approximately 60% complete, and procurement of long-lead items started in the final quarter of 2020.
The Las Chispas property is located approximately 180 kilometres northeast of Hermosillo, Sonora state.