Lundin Gold orders long-lead time process plant equipment and confirms mine development is underway

Long-lead time process plant equipment for Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte gold project in southeast Ecuador has been ordered and soft tunnelling is well advanced. Details of the Outotec plant order were posted on October 23 –

Further highlights

  • Detailed engineering contracts for the process plant, tailings facility and water management have been awarded
  • EPC contract for the power transmission line from the Bomboiza substation to Fruta del Norte has been awarded
  • Major earthworks activities are progressing and work on the process plant has started.

“The Project has very quickly transitioned from basic to detailed engineering and onsite earthwork and mining activities have successfully ramped up according to plan,” said Ron Hochstein, President and CEO of Lundin Gold. “We continue to de-risk Fruta del Norte with long-lead time purchase orders confirmed, advancement of the Project’s infrastructure and significant progress on the civil earthworks programs.”

The mine contractor, SME, which is a consortium of Ingeniería y Construcciones Mas Errazuriz Limitada y Filiales (Chilean) and Sevilla y Martínez Ingenieros C.A. (Semaica) (Ecuadorian) began work on the twin portals in May of this year. Both portals are in place and soft tunnelling through the initial clay commenced on September 20 for the first decline and October 7 for the second. Currently, soft tunnelling has advanced approximately 23 m in the first decline and 7 m in the second. The transition from soft tunneling to hard rock development is expected to begin as scheduled by the end of the year.

The facilities to support mine development, including offices, mine dry, warehouse, maintenance, and batch plant have also been built and are operational.

Process plant detailed engineering was awarded to Ausenco Engineering Canada and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018. Earlier this year, Ausenco also completed optimization work for the process plant.

Klohn Crippen Berger will provide detailed designs and site quality control for the tailings storage facility and site geotechnical engineering. Site-wide water management design has been awarded to SRK Consulting (Canada).

Bidding for the design and supply of the mine paste plant has commenced, and this contract is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2018.

The EPC 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 S.A Ingenieros Contratistas and Energic y Petrolia’s Inexpertly, S.A. Detailed engineering has started and construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

The draft Environmental Impact Assessment report for the powerline was submitted to the Ministry of Environment in May 2017 and the Company anticipates receiving final approval and granting of the license by the end of the year.

Major earthworks 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.

Fruta del Norte is one of the highest-grade and largest gold projects currently under construction. First gold production is expected in 2019.