Condor Gold (LON:CNR) (TSX:COG) said on Monday that said final drilling results show the starter pits for its flagship La India gold project in Nicaragua hold around 59,672 of gold within 35 meters of surface, which will be targeted early for extraction.
The results, the company said, further de-risk the fully permitted open pit project ahead of production.
La India mine contains about 675,000 ounces of gold in mineral reserves and it is expected to produce 120,000 ounces of the precious metal annually from open-pit material for seven years. An additional underground resource of 1.2 million gold ounces could later be tapped into, taking advantage of a processing plant with a capacity of up to 2,800 tonnes per day to be built on site.
Condor Gold said this area is part of the La India Open Pit project, which is estimated to contain 675,000 ounces of gold.
“Final drill assay results from the La India Starter Pits infill drilling program are excellent and add considerable confidence to the geological model, the mineral resource and mineral reserve calculations and the mine plan,” chairman and chief executive Mark Child said in the statement.
He noted that the case for starter pits to be mined early is stronger than ever. The satellites pits are expected to quicken the payback period and enhance the project’s economics.
Condor Gold staked concessions in Nicaragua, Central America’s largest country, in 2006. Since then, mining has significantly taken off due to the arrival of foreign companies with the cash and expertise to tap into existing reserves.
The government of Nicaragua granted Condor Gold in 2019 the 132.1 km2 Los Cerritos exploration and exploitation concession, which expanded La India project concession area by 29% to a total of 587.7 km2.
Condor also attracted a partner — Nicaragua Milling. The privately held company, which took a 10.4% stake in the miner in September 2019, has operated in the country for two decades.