Lumina Gold to complete Cangrejos feasibility study by mid-2025

The Cangrejos gold-copper project is located in El Oro province, southwestern Ecuador. (Image courtesy of Lumina Gold.)

Canada’s Lumina Gold (TSX-V: LUM) said on Tuesday an ongoing feasibility study for its Cangrejos gold-copper project in southwest Ecuador will be completed in the second quarter of 2025.

The Vancouver-based firm, which says the project is among the world’s top 26 gold assets under development, launched the study in January. Since then, it has achieved key developments, it said, including rising the initial processing plant throughput to 40,000 tonnes per day from the 30,000 tonnes per day outlined in the 2023 prefeasibility study (PFS).

Lumina expects the modification to help streamline the construction process, speed up future expansions, and boost gold and copper production.

Other revisions to the mine plan include prioritizing the extraction of higher-grade ore from the Cangrejos deposit before beginning operations at Gran Bestia. After mining, more than 300 million tonnes of waste rock will be placed in the Cangrejos pit, reducing the space needed for waste storage and the distance for hauling, Lumana said. 

The company noted the waste storage facility had been moved to Lumina-owned land, which increases the distance from nearby communities. It also said that access roads will be redirected to avoid populated areas.

Field teams are carrying out test pits, and two drilling rigs will start drilling of geotechnical boreholes at the end of May to assist in determining the location of the facility.

Lumina intends to implement a CIPA (complementary investment protection agreement), which will see it allocate a total of $721 million from 2025 to 2031 for construction and pre-production operations. Any investments surpassing this agreed amount will also receive protection under the CIPA.

The gold company plans to complete the layout for site infrastructure by the end of June and will enlist the services of a consultant approved by the Ecuadorian Government to initiate the required by law environmental and social impact assessment process. This phase is anticipated to last around 18 months, Lumina said.

Ecuador has vast mineral reserves but has lagged behind regional neighbours such as Peru and Chile in large-scale mining development.

Based on last year’s PFS, Capex to develop Cangrejos sits at $925 million. The mine is expected to yield average gold equivalent production of 469,000 ounces over a 26-year mine life.