Mining.com reported that London-based mining company Condor Gold received the green light to start the development of a mining infrastructure as well as a processing plant with a daily capacity of up to 2,800 tons.
According to the company’s announcement on Monday, it has finally received the environmental permit for the La India Mine and processing plant located in Nicaragua, cementing its commitment and dedication to building and operating a $120 million gold mine.
Following the receipt of the permit, construction for the mine is expected to start in 18 months and can even stretch to 24. Before the work begins, however, the firm is expected to submit final engineered designs to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, as well as conduct and finish a bankable level of Feasibility Study. The La India open pit is also subject to financing.
In a press release, Condor CEO and Chairman Mark Child said, “The receipt of the environmental permit is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Condor Gold’s team on the ground, they are 100 [percent] Nicaraguan nationals; I am proud of their achievements. It also marks the culmination of 11 years of detailed scientific geological work and technical mining studies at La India Project, including three years on the permitting process.” Child also mentioned the company’s vision to closely work with the local community to improve the residents’ lives.
A concession package stretching for 313 km2, La India covers approximately 98 percent of the La India Gold Mining District, one of Nicaragua’s most historic mines. It has a mineral resource estimate of 18.1Mt at 4.0g/t for 2.32M oz gold. This includes 9.6Mt at 3.5g/t for 1.08M oz gold, with the entire mineral resource estimate all contained within a 9 km radius. The La India open pit Mineral Reserve is also estimated to hold 6.9 Mt at 3.0 g/t for 675,000 oz gold, with an expected yearly production of roughly 80,000 oz gold, based on a Pre-Feasibility Study.
Helping a former mining community bounce back
Employing around 70 Nicaraguan nationals, Condor said that it will remain focused on supporting its staff, as well as their families, who have confirmed their desire to continue working to maintain the stability of their respective communities. The firm also stated that in the recent months, it held constructive meetings with principal ministries. According to the company, these meetings resulted in a successful public consultation, approval of the technical studies and the needed grant for the environmental permit.
Nearly 500 people attended Condor’s mid-July public consultation, held in the village of La Cruz de la India, with the firm stating that the attendants fully support the new mine. The firm’s social team also conducted 287 individual house-to-house visits, handing out leaflets that explain the mine’s infrastructure and benefits to the villagers. Additionally, the public consultation saw 600 people registering for a job at the new mine.
As per a report, the said village has struggled after the mine initially closed back in 1956. Located in a dry corridor in Nicaragua, the village also has no other alternative option for employment.
Local economic study group FUNIDES published an independent economic report of La Cruz de la India last October 2017. According to the report, it has a 40.5 percent Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index. The same index, which measures five well-being dimensions — living conditions, income, basic services, education and employment, was used last 2015 to measure the poverty of 17 Latin American countries.
By re-permitting an old mine adjacent to a former mining community, Condor will help significantly reduce poverty in the area, creating 1,000 jobs in the process. Furthermore, the firm also reported that “for every job in the mine, there [are] an additional three to five times more indirect jobs.”
A company that believes in a peaceful resolution of the current political unrest in the country, Condor has significantly strengthened its social team during the past year. Listening to the concerns voiced out by the local community, it also redesigned the mine infrastructure to steer clear of any resettlement in the area.
(Featured image via DepositPhotos)
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