Construction Well Under Way at Fruta del Norte in Ecuador

Lundin Gold has reported that construction of its Fruta del Norte underground gold project in southeast Ecuador is well under way. The mine development contractor mobilized to the site in April, and work on the mine portals began on May 1. Construction of mine development support facilities by Lundin began later in the month.
Fruta del Norte is one of the largest and highest-grade undeveloped gold projects in the world. Probable reserves currently stand at 16.8 million metric tons (mt) at a grade of 9.16 grams/mt for 4.94 million ounces (oz) of contained gold. Gold production is forecast to exceed 300,000 oz per year (oz/y) for more than 15 years at average life-of-mine total cash costs of $561/oz and all-in sustaining cash costs of $609/oz.

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State-owned Company is Created in Nicaragua

In June, the Nicaraguan National Assembly (parliament) approved the creation of the Nicaraguan Mining Co. (Eniminas), which will be in charge of the exploration and exploitation of mining resources. Eniminas will be a decentralized public company of the state under the rectory of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and will be subject to the Special Law on the Exploration and Exploitation of Mines (2001), explained the official Deputy Jenny Martinez, in the plenary.

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Goldcorp Completes JV With Barrick

Goldcorp announced the completion of a previous transaction resulting in the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. in the mining district of Maricunga, northern Chile. Under the terms of that transaction and offer for the acquisition of Exeter Resource Corp., Goldcorp and Barrick will jointly control more than 20,000 hectares of mining property within the Maricunga District with the Caspiche and Cerro Casale orebodies. Together, both deposits, contain more than 3,500 tons of mineral resources. Also, Goldcorp will spend at least $60 million in a two-year period, unless the deferred payment obligation worth $250 million is satisfied.

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Cerro Grande Files for Bankruptcy in Chile

Cerro Grande Mining Corp. announced the closure of its Pimenton mine and that it has entered into voluntary bankruptcy, effective June 1. On the advice of its Chilean lawyers, the directors and management of Compania Minera Pimenton and the Board of Directors of Cerro Grande Mining Corp. decided to go into voluntary bankruptcy versus waiting for its creditors to place Pimenton into involuntary bankruptcy.

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Silver Standard Forms JV With Golden Arrow

Silver Standard Resources has formed the Puna Operations joint venture (JV) with Golden Arrow Resources Corp. to develop the Chinchillas project. The JV will be comprised of Silver Standard’s Pirquitas property and Golden Arrow’s Chinchillas property. Silver Standard owns 75% and Golden Arrow owns 25% of the venture. Silver Standard is the joint venture operator and has made an option exercise payment of $13 million to Golden Arrow. This transaction was previously announced in March 31.

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Tahoe Challenges Anti-mining NGO in Guatemala

Tahoe Resources reported this week that an anti-mining organization, CALAS, has filed a claim against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) alleging it violated the Xinca indigenous people’s right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining license to Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael.

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