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Lundin’s Fruta del Norte gold mine continues to exceed expectations

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Canada’s Lundin Gold (TSX:LUG) has reported record gold production for the second quarter of 2021, only sixteen months after its Fruta del Norte gold-silver mine in Ecuador, the country’s largest, kicked off commercial operations.

The Vancouver-based miner delivered 108,799 ounces of gold in the three months to June 30, of which 66,721 ounces were produced as a concentrate and 42,078 ounces as doré.

The mill processed roughly 346,561 tonnes at an average throughput rate of 3,808 tonnes per day, the average grade of ore milled was 11.08 grams per tonne, and average recovery was 88.2%.

President and CEO Ron Hochstein said that, once again, the figures exceeded projected production.

The underground gold and silver mine, discovered in 2006, contains six of Lundin’s 29 mining concessions in Ecuador and covers 70,000 hectares of land.

“I am very happy with the results achieved during this first of half of 2021. Both the mine and mill are performing remarkably well, and we are firmly on track to meet our 2021 guidance of 380,000 – 420,000 oz of gold produced,” he said.

Lundin recently increased Fruta del Norte’s reserves by 8% to 5.41 million ounces, due to changes in the planned mining method.

Based on the new figures, it now expects to produce almost 4.8 million ounces of gold at Fruta del Norte over a 14-year mine life.

The company acquired the project in 2014 for $240 million from fellow Canadian miner Kinross Gold (TSX:K) (NYSE:KGC), which had to halt operations after being unable to reach an agreement with authorities regarding the terms for developing the asset.

The underground gold and silver mine, discovered in 2006, contains six of Lundin’s 29 mining concessions in Ecuador and covers 70,000 hectares of land.

Located in southeastern Zamora Chinchipe province, the 70,000-hectare Fruta del Norte is considered one the largest and highest-grade gold projects in the world currently in production.

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