Condor Gold losses narrow as flagship La India project moves forward

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

Nicaragua-focused Condor Gold (LON:CNR) saw losses narrow in the three months ended on Sep. 30 compared to the same period last year, as it is getting close to de-risking its flagship La India gold project, north of capital Managua.

The miner logged a pre-tax loss for the period of £316,125, about 2.5% lower than the £324,349 loss registered a year before. This was almost entirely due to a funding campaign that allowed Condor Gold to raise £4.04 million (about $5.2m) during the period through a private placement of new ordinary shares.

The company, which fully permitted the project in August last year, said the primary use of the proceeds was to meet conditions of the environmental permit ruling the construction and operation of an open pit mine at the La India concession.

Condor is also seeking permits for the America and Mestiza veins, which could increase La India’s production by 50% to 120,000 ounces of gold annually during a seven-year mine life

A portion of the funds were used to buy the land required for mine site infrastructure, engineering reviews ahead of a construction decision and completion of 18 technical studies required for permitting two high-grade satellite feeder pits.

The America and Mestiza pits, located about 2km and 4km, respectively, from La India’s processing plant complement the main open pit. They are expected to increase open pit production by 50% to 120,000 ounces of gold annually during a seven-year mine life.

The decision to seek permits for the two satellite pits was based on an updated mineral resource estimate in January.

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

During the period, the government of Nicaragua granted Condor Gold the 132.1 km2 Los Cerritos exploration and exploitation concession, which expanded the La India project concession area by 29% to a total of 587.7 km2.

It also attracted a partner — Nicaragua Milling. The privately held company, which took a 10.4% stake in Condor Gold in September, has operated in Nicaragua for two decades.

Nicaragua Milling is majority-owned by American mining engineer Randy Martin, who developed Hemco Nicaragua, a 1,200-tonne-per-day underground and open-pit mine at Bonanza. Martin later sold 90% of Hemco for $96.8 million to Mineros SA.

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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