Minera IRL announced on June 30 that the Peruvian Ministry of Mines and Energy has granted it the construction permit to build its Ollachea gold mine, the final major government approval required to begin construction. Ollachea is an underground project in southern Peru, with production planned to average 100,000 oz/y of gold over an initial nine-year mine life.

Receipt of the Ollachea construction permit followed on the heels of Minera IRL’s release of the results of mine optimization studies in early June (Minera IRL Targets 100,000 oz/y of Gold from Ollachea Project). The company will begin project development as soon as it arranges project financing, which it expects to complete before the end of the third quarter of 2014.

In a separate announcement on July 21, Minera IRL reported the results of an exploration diamond drilling program currently in progress at its Corihuarmi gold mine, a heap leach operation located in central Peru 330 km by road east of Lima. Potentially economic gold mineralization at similar grades to those currently being mined and treated by heap leach has been intersected in new zones at the Laura and Cayhua prospects, and bonanza-grade gold mineralization has been intersected at the Cerro Rojo prospect.

Minera IRL Executive Chairman Courtney Chamberlain said, “The drilling program has been highly encouraging on two fronts. Substantial leach-grade gold intersections, particularly at the Laura zone, have the potential to extend the life of the Corihuarmi mine. Also, for the first time, Minera IRL has drilled bonanza-grade intersections in two holes below an outcropping silicified structure at the top of Cerro Rojo, which opens up a new exploration model for us to pursue.”

The Cerro Rojo prospect is approximately 750 m north of the Corihuarmi heap leach facility. Scout drilling in two closely spaced drill holes yielded intersections of 53.4 g/mt gold over 1.1 m, including 0.6 m grading 87.9 g/mt gold, in one hole and 90.9 g/mt gold over 1.3 m in the other.