Ecuador government inks investment agreements with Adventus, Atico

Condor gold project. (Image courtesy of Luminex Resources.)

The Ecuadorian government has inked hundred-million-dollar investment agreements (IAs) to support the development of two gold mining projects held by Canadian companies: Adventus Mining’s (TSXV: ADZN), Condor project and Atico Mining’s (TSXV: ATY) La Plata project.

The agreements were formalized on Tuesday at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto. Attending the event was the President of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, alongside Minister of Energy and Mines Andrea Arrobo; Minister of Production, External Commerce, Investments, and Fisheries, Sonsoles Garcia; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriela Sommerfeld.

Condor IA

The Condor IA — totalling $100 million — provides a foundation for the continuing advancement of the project towards development and for the negotiation of an investment protection agreement (IPA), which would be required for future mining construction and operations, Adventus said.

The amount includes $52 million of historical spending made on the project from 2010 to 2023, and the future investment commitment of $48 million for the period between 2024 and 2038. The IA also extends to include any additional investments made by the company during the period, which would be included for investment protection in the future IPA.

Condor represents a highly mineralized project comprising multiple deposits that together hold 2.3 million oz. of gold in indicated resources and 4.3 million oz. inferred. The property is located 35 km south of the 9.5 million oz. Fruta del Norte project.

The project was acquired by Adventus through its recent merger with Luminex Resources (TSXV: LR), which had a 98.7% interest in Condor. The remaining interest is held by the pension fund for Ecuador’s armed forces personnel.

La Plata IA

The La Plata IA represents a commitment exceeding $157 million, which Atico says signifies the confluence of interests between the Ecuadorian state and the company in pioneering new ventures within the mining sector.

Like the Condor agreement, the investment encompasses most previous and future exploration, development, construction and initial sustaining investment phases of the La Plata mining project. This includes the facilitation in securing all requisite approvals, licenses and permits, ensuring adherence to both Ecuadorian legal frameworks and international standards.

This agreement lays the foundational groundwork for the execution of a formal IPA in the forthcoming period, marking a significant milestone in the partnership between the Ecuadorian state and Atico, the company said.

La Plata represents a high-grade gold-rich VMS deposit that supported a small-scale mine operation from 1975-1981. The property consists of two concessions covering a total area of 23 sq. km. along its 9-km length, which contains known mineralization in two VMS lenses and nine priority exploration targets.

An independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) dated 2019 estimated an inferred resource of 1.9 million tonnes at an average grade of 4.1 g/t gold, 49.4 g/t silver, 3.3% copper, 4.5% zinc and 0.6% lead.