Condor Gold granted extension to permitting deadline for La India in Nicaragua

Drilling activities at La India. (Image courtesy of Condor Gold)

Nicaragua-focused Condor Gold (LON:CNR) has obtained an extension to meet conditions associated with the environmental permit to build and operate its flagship La India open pit gold mine, in the country’s western region.

The company, which received the licence in August 2018, was given a time frame to meet certain conditions. Such requirements, including reaching a deal with landowners to buy their properties, must be settled before construction of the 2,800 tonnes of ore per day gold mine can begin within 18 months of the grant.

Condor said last month that it wouldn’t be able to complete the land acquisition for its mine site infrastructure in time.

The company now has extra time to acquire land in Nicaragua or to reach legal agreements with landowners, so it can proceed with construction

The extension, granted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource (MARENA), will also help the gold miner complete technical engineering tests and other studies required prior to construction.

La India is a 313 km² concession package covering 98% of the historic La India Gold Mining District. Mineral resources are 9.85 million tonnes at 3.6 grams per tonne of gold for 1.14 million indicated ounces.

The asset also has a total underground resource of 1.27 million tonnes at a grade of 5.8g/t gold for 238,000 gold ounces in the indicated category and 5.47 million tonnes at a grade of 5.1g/t gold for 889,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category.

Condor Gold is currently advancing the permitting process for two high-grade satellite feeder pits that could increase La India’s production by 50% to 120,000 ounces a year.

The America and Mestiza pits are located about 2km and 4km, respectively, from the mine’s processing plant and complement the main open pit.

The plan is to begin by mining the “mini pits” within the larger, permitted pit and transfer that ore to a nearby processing plant, chief executive officer Mark Child told MINING.COM earlier this year.

The company expects to complete the two environmental impact assessments in the second half of the year.

Condor Gold initially staked concessions in Nicaragua, Central America’s largest country, in 2006. Since then, mining has significantly taken off in the country due to the arrival of foreign companies with the cash and knowledge to tap into its reserves.

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