The Las Peñas camp is the base for exploration activities at Fruta del Norte.
The Las Peñas camp is the base for exploration activities at Fruta del Norte.

Lundin Gold announced in early February that it has assembled an integrated engineering team for the feasibility study of its Fruta del Norte gold project in southeast Ecuador. Lundin acquired the project from Kinross Gold for $240 million in a transaction that was announced in October 2014 (E&MJ, November 2014, p. 14) and that closed in December 2014.

The project’s principal engineering firms, and their areas of responsibility, are:

Amec Foster Wheeler Americas—process design, project water management, infrastructure, report preparation and overall project management.

NCL Engineering and Construction SpA—reserve estimation, proposed underground mine design and associated surface facilities.

Paterson & Cooke Canada—backfill design, including both paste and/or cemented rock fill, for the proposed underground mine.

Klohn Crippen Berger S.A.—tailings design, plant-site geotechnical work and surface hydrology.

SRK Consulting (Canada)—hydrogeology and geotechnical aspects of the mine and plant designs.

In a December 12, 2014, corporate presentation, Lundin Gold reported that Fruta del Norte’s NI 43-101-compliant indicated mineral resources currently stand at 23.5 million metric tons (mt) at an average grade of 9.59 g/mt gold, containing 7.26 million oz of gold, and its inferred mineral resources stand at 14.5 million mt at an average grade of 5.46 g/mt gold, containing 2.55 million oz of gold.

Lundin’s project timeline calls for completion of the feasibility study and permitting by the second quarter of 2016, leading to a production decision. Start of production is planned for the first half of 2018. Project expenditures over the next 16 to 18 months are estimated at about $50 million.