Condor Gold to start building mine in Nicaragua

London-based Condor Gold (AIM: CNR; TSX: COG) announced that it has received an environmental permit for the development of a processing plant with a capacity of up to 2,800 tonnes per day and associated mine site infrastructure at its wholly-owned La India gold project, located in the Department of León, western Nicaragua.

Thanks to this green light, construction is expected to start in the next 18 months and extend for up to two years. But before the work begins, the company has to submit to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources final engineered designs for several key components of the mine such as the tailings storage facility.

La India is a 313 km² concession package covering 98 per cent of the historic La India Gold Mining District. Historic production at La India gold mine, which was owned by Canada’s Noranda, is estimated at 1.7Mt at 13.4g/t for 576,000oz Au between 1938 and 1956.

The current mineral resource estimate on the project area is a CIM-compliant combined inferred and indicated mineral resource of 18.1Mt at 4.0g/t for 2.32M oz gold, including 9.6Mt at 3.5g/t for 1.08M oz gold in the indicated category, all contained within a 9 km radius within the project area. Probable open pit Mineral Reserve is estimated at 6.9 Mt at 3.0 g/t for 675,000 oz gold and gold production is expected to be approximately 80,000 oz gold per annum. In addition there is a mineral resource of 2.66M oz silver at a grade of 6.2 g/t silver.

Zopilote cross-cut adit, La India District, Nicaragua. Photo by Condor Gold.

Following the granting of the Environmental Permit, Condor will now move towards making a redesigned mine site infrastructure for La India Open Pit a bankable level of Feasibility Study.

According to Mark Child, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Condor, it took them 11 years to get to this point with the permitting process only taking about three years. “The receipt of the Environmental Permit is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Condor Gold’s team on the ground, they are 100% Nicaraguan nationals,” Child said in a media statement.

The executive highlighted the company’s commitment to support its 70 direct and indirect employees, despite the political upheaval against the Daniel Ortega government that has been taking place in Nicaragua since April this year and that has so far claimed more than 300 lives.

In the brief, the firm says that its workers have confirmed their desire to continue to work and maintain stability within their communities as much as possible. According to Condor, its public consultation process also created massive interest with 600 people registering to be considered for new jobs to work at the mine.