Condor Gold (AIM: CNR) (TSX: COG) has begun a 4,000-metre close-spaced infill diamond drilling program within the permitted open pit at the La India project in Nicaragua.
The firm has set three objectives for this drill program. Firstly, Condor said the plan is to tighten the drill hole spacing within the planned high-grade starter pits on the principal La India vein. Results of this drilling will provide the sample density required to finalize pit designs and mine schedules ahead of production.
Second, the program is designed to replace all historical reverse circulation drill holes within the overall La India open pit mineral resource, the results of which should improve the geological model and sample quality.
Lastly, the diamond drilling is targeting nearby inferred mineral resources to potentially upgrade the target to an indicated mineral resource, and its then potential inclusion in the mine plan.
According to a mineral resource estimate completed in January 2019, the La India project comprises 9.85 million tonnes at 3.6 g/t gold for 1.14 million oz gold in the indicated category, as well as 8.48 million tonnes at 4.3 g/t gold for 1.17 million oz gold in the inferred category.
The La India vein set hosts an open pit mineral resource of about 8.37 million tonnes at 3.1 g/t gold for 837,000 oz gold in the indicated category and 887,000 tonnes at 2.4 g/t gold for 69,000 oz gold in the inferred category.
Beneath the La India open pit is an underground mineral resource estimate of 678,000 tonnes at 4.9 g/t gold for 107,000 oz gold in the indicated category and 1.71 million tonnes at 5.6 g/t gold for 309,000 oz gold in the inferred category.
“As Condor progresses towards production it has been decided to initiate mine production with high-grade starter pits within the permitted main La India open pit and the permitted high-grade Mestiza open pit,” chairman and CEO Mark Child said in a press release.
The la India open pit hosts probable mineral reserves of 6.9 million tonnes at 3.01 g/t gold for 675,000 oz gold with all-in-sustaining-cash costs of $690/oz.
The La India starter pits are designed with an estimated mill feed of 445,000 tonnes at 4.17g/t gold for 59,700 oz gold. These starter pits have a maximum depth of 35 m and have a relatively low strip ratio.
According to Condor, the drill program within the La India starter pits will close-up the sample density to 25 m by 25 m spacing and is the final drilling ahead of extraction. Drilling on the high grade Mestiza open pit is expected to start in January 2021.