Is Ecuador the top place for mining investments? Lundin Gold's Fruta del Norte project takes off
Lundin Gold Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is in the process of developing the Fruta del Norte gold project in southeast Ecuador. Fruta del Norte is one of the highest-grade and largest gold projects currently under construction. As of April 16th, 2018 the company is pleased to announce that it has reached major construction milestones and is now past 1 kilometre of underground mine development and has completed the new 1,000-person construction camp.
Overall engineering is 26% complete and construction is 16% complete, and we are continuously looking for efficiencies as we move the Project forward.
- Ron Hochstein, President and CEO of Lundin Gold Inc.
The project, which closed a $400-million financing back in March to help complete construction, is predicted to eventually have an annual production of approximately 340,000 ounces of gold. The Fruta del Norte asset, discovered in 2006, is said to contain about 7.3 million ounces of gold and 6.34 million ounces of silver. The underground gold mine will be Ecuador’s largest and it’s expected to operate for 15 years.
Ron Hochstein, President and CEO of Lundin Gold explains, “ Overall engineering is 26% complete and construction is 16% complete, and we are continuously looking for efficiencies as we move the Project forward.”
We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule.- Ron Hochstein, President and CEO of Lundin Gold Inc. Beyond the more striking milestones achieved, the project has also poured the foundation bases for the SAG and ball mills, improved site logistics by finishing the River Road, completed the first major pond for the site water management system and awarded more than 84% of production fleet contracts. “ We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule,” Hochstein explains. While the Fruta del Norte project was bought by Lundin Gold Inc. back in 2014 for $240 million from Kinross Gold, which had shelved the project a year earlier after a two-year stalemate with Ecuador’s government over key economic and legal terms, the government has subsequently overhauled its mining policy to increase its appeal to investors. The shift in mining policies is now expecting to see more than $1 billion in foreign investment for Ecuador’s mining sector this year. It seems Ecuador may be a place to keep an eye on!