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Condor Gold submits assessments for La India feeder pits

By Josh White

Date: Friday 22 Nov 2019

Condor Gold submits assessments for La India feeder pits

(Sharecast News) - Condor Gold announced on Friday that, following its announcement on 28 January of an updated mineral resource estimate on its 100%-owned La India Project, which included a new, high-grade open pit on the Mestiza Vein Set, and the announcement on 5 March that it had begun the permitting process for two high grade feeder pits, it has submitted environmental and social impact assessments to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
The AIM-traded firm said the assessments were for the environmental permits, which would allow the development and extraction of contained gold from the America and Mestiza open pits in Nicaragua.

It said that as at 25 January, the La India Project had a mineral resource estimate of 9.85 million tonnes at 3.6 grams of gold per tonne, for 1,140,000 ounces of gold in the indicated category, and 8.48 million tonnes at 4.3 grams of gold per tonne, for 1,179,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category.

The updated mineral resource estimate included total open pit mineral resources of 8.58 million tonnes at a grade of 3.3 grams of gold per tonne, for 902,000 ounces of gold in the indicated category, and 3.01 million tonnes at a grade of 3.0 grams of gold per tonne, for 290,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category, and total underground Mineral Resources of 1.27 million tonnes at a grade of 5.8 grams of gold per tonne, for 238,000 ounces gold in the indicated category and 5.47 million tonnes at a grade of 5.1 grams of gold per tonne, for 889,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category.

Condor said the updated open pit mineral resource estimate included two high-grade satellite feeder pits.

The Mestiza open pit hosted 92,000 tonnes at a grade of 12.1 grams of gold per tonne, or 36,000 ounces of contained gold, in the indicated category, and 341,000 tonnes at a grade of 7.7 grams of gold per tonne, or 85,000 ounces of contained gold, in the inferred category.

It said the America open pit hosted 114,000 tonnes at a grade of 8.1 grams of gold per tonne, or 30,000 ounces of contained gold, in the Indicated category and 677,000 tonnes at a grade of 3.1 grams of gold per tonne, or 67,000 ounces of contained gold, in the inferred category.

In January, Condor applied to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for terms of reference to produce environmental and social impact assessments for environmental permits, for the development and extraction of contained gold at the Mestiza and America open pits, with a view to processing the material through the permitted processing plant.

Following that, in February the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Forestry, conducted a site visit inspection of the proposed lay out of the pits, waste dumps and associated mine site infrastructure.

On 1 March, the firm received the terms of reference from the Ministry, which it described as an "integral part" of the permitting process in Nicaragua, listing the technical, environmental and social studies required by the Ministry in the impact assessment.

Condor an environmental and social impact assessment for the America open pit and for the Mestiza open pit on 21 November, with each ESIA stretching to more than 600 pages, summarising 18 mining, environmental and social technical studies.

The company said the main La India open pit was permitted for the construction and operation of a processing plant with a capacity of up to 2,800 tonnes per day.

It said the La India pit had a "robust, economically viable" pre-feasibility study, with mineral reserves of 6.9 million tonnes at 3.0 grams of gold per tonne, for 675,000 ounces of gold.

The America and Mestiza open pits are located approximately three and four kilometres, respectively, from the location of the processing plant for the permitted La India open pit.

Permitting additional high grade open pit material within the Mestiza and America open pits had the potential to enhance the project economics, increase the annual production, and increase the life of mine, the board said.

The Mestiza and America open pits had, in aggregate, 206,000 tonnes at a grade of 9.9 grams of gold per tonne, for 66,000 ounces of contained gold, in the indicated category, and 1.02 million tonnes at 4.6 grams of gold per tonne, for 152,000 ounces of contained gold, in the inferred category.

Condor said its internal studies indicated that the addition to the mine plan of the contained gold in the Mestiza and America open pits would result in average annual production of 120,000 ounces of gold for a seven year period.

That compared with the pre-feasibility study, which demonstrated annual production of 79,300 ounces of gold over seven years, with a lower quartile all-in sustaining cost of $690 per ounce of gold.

"Permitting the high grade Mestiza and America satellite feeder pits has the potential to increase annual production from open pit material by 50% to 120,000 ounces of gold per annum for a seven year life-of-mine," said Condor Gold chairman and chief executive officer Mark Child.

"The addition of the feeder pits will mean over one million ounces of gold mineral resource will be permitted for production."

Child said the feeder pits would complement the main, fully permitted La India open pit.

"The higher grade feeder pits have the potential to materially enhance the project economics as the head grade for the Mestiza open pit of 120,000 ounces of contained gold is expected to be [around] 5.8 grams of gold per tonne."

At 0942 GMT, shares in Condor Gold were up 4.76% at 20.43p.

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