PROCESSING

Condor granted environmental permit for La India

Condor Gold has received an environmental permit for a processing plant at its La India project

Staff reporter
Exploration drilling at La India

Exploration drilling at La India

The Nicaraguan ministry of environmental and natural resources (MARENA) approved the permit allowing the company to develop, build and operate a 2,800t per day plant and associated mine site infrastructure.

Back in February, Condor announced it would be redesigning the mine's open pit to relocate the site for the processing plant, so it no longer had to resettle 330 houses or 1,000 people.

It submitted the original environmental and social impact assessment to MARENA in December 2015 and has been awaiting approval ever since.

The company is re-permitting an old mine area where Noranda Mining produced around 576,000oz of gold with an average grade of 13.4g/t over an 18-year period before closing the underground mine in 1956.

Condor CEO Mark Child said the successful permitting was the culmination of 11 years of detailed scientific geological work and technical mining studies at La India, with the permitting process running over three of those years.

He said the next steps were a bankable feasibility study for the project's redesigned mine site infrastructure and to submit final engineered designs for several key components of the mine to MARENA before it started construction.

"Subject to financing, completion of a BFS and completion of the final engineering designs, construction is expected to commence within 18 months of the grant of the environmental permit. The construction period is expected to take 18 to 24 months," he said.

A prefeasibility study for the open-pit mine determined an existing probable mineral reserve of 6.9 million tonnes at 3.01g/t gold for 675,000oz gold.

Gold production from La India is expected to be around 80,000oz per annum from the single open pit, with a total investment of US$120 million.

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