Orla Mining says it has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the Camino Rojo oxide gold project in Zacatecas State, Mexico, to M3 Engineering & Technology Corp.
M3, a full service EPCM firm headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, has provided services to over 10,000 projects for some 1,000 clients in its 33-year history, Orla says.
Work on the Camino Rojo project will be undertaken out of the M3 office in Hermosillo, Mexico, with senior review and support from the Tucson, Arizona office. The company will be responsible for detailed engineering, construction planning and execution, contractor management and cost control for the project under the auspices of Orla management.
Orla expects to begin engineering work by mid-September, yet the selection of M3 and commencement of any EPCM work is subject to entering into a definitive agreement.
Jason Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orla, said: “M3 has a wealth of engineering knowledge and with its extensive experience in Mexico, it is well suited to design and build the Camino Rojo project on time and on budget.
“We look forward to commencing detailed engineering work by mid-September as we work with M3 to build a high-quality project that begins to produce gold in mid-2021.”
The Camino Rojo oxide project consists of an 18,000 t/d heap-leach open pit operation. An estimated 44 Mt grading 0.73 g/t Au and 14.2 g/t Ag is expected to be processed during an almost seven-year mine life. Gold production is expected to average 97,000 oz/y at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of $576/oz of gold.
Orla has submitted the permit applications to SEMARNAT for the Manifesto de Impacto Ambiental (MIA) and the Change of Land Use (ETJ) permits at the end of August. The legislated timelines for the review of properly prepared MIA and ETJ applications and mine operating permits for a project that does not affect federally protected biospheres or ecological reserves are 120 working days and 105 working days, respectively, which can be completed concurrently, according to Orla.