Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines Inc has started pre-production mining at its 100 percent owned Lindero gold project in the Province of Salta, Argentina. Initial blasting commenced in early September and the mine is planned to build stockpiles of reserves ahead of stacking on the leach pad.
Commenting on the start of pre-production, President, CEO and Director of Fortuna Silver Jorge Ganoza, said that the company sees this as one of most important milestones in the project as they enter the final stretches of construction. “The Lindero mineralized body presents us with important economic benefits that can be captured right from the start of mining. There is no pre-stripping required and high-grade gold Mineral Reserves will be accessed with a low strip ratio below one in the first year.”
Mr Ganoza concluded that the Lindero project is planned to produce between 145 to 160 thousand ounces of gold in its first full year.
With Lindero in its first year of full production, Fortuna’s consolidated precious metals annual production is expected to increase in 2020 to between 7.5 and 8.3 million ounces of silver and between 189 to 209 thousand ounces of gold or between 293 to 324 thousand ounces of gold equivalent.
Construction highlights as at the end of August 2019:
• The overall project is 70 percent complete
• Total construction spending is US$240.8 million
• An eight megawatt power plant is being pre-commissioned; and the medium voltage power distribution system is complete
• All major structures and equipment in the crushing circuit and agglomeration plant have been mounted. The electrical, lubrication, and hydraulic systems are being installed
• The Project´s workforce to date is 2,350 people; 98 percent are Argentinian nationals, 65 percent come from the Province of Salta, and 10 percent come from neighbouring communities. The Project employs 105 female workers which constitute 5 percent of the project´s workforce.
Mine and equipment fleet
The operational permits for the explosives magazine and the explosive delivery trucks were received in August 2019. All mine equipment is on site and is fully operational. Key equipment includes six 100 ton trucks, two 17 cubic yard wheel loaders, one 5 cubic yard crawler excavator, two 449 HP dozers, two 250 HP motor graders, and two 800 HP rotary blast hole drill rigs.
8 megawatt power plant
The power plant consisting of twelve power generators and ten 50 cubic meter fuel tanks is being pre-commissioned. The plant will allow for power requirements to be self-generated through an eight megawatt diesel generator power plant. The medium voltage power distribution system is complete.
18,750 tonnes per day crushing circuit and agglomeration plant
All principal structures and equipment in the primary, secondary, and tertiary crushing circuits have been mounted with electrical, lubrication, and hydraulic systems being installed. Mounting and installation of conveyor belts is the main mechanical activity taking place at the present time.
The large agglomeration surge bin, two cement silos, and the two agglomeration drums have been mounted with mechanical and electrical installation continuing.
Commissioning of the crushing circuit and the agglomeration plant is planned for the fourth quarter of 2019.
Leach pad and solution ponds area
The 31 hectare leach pad start-up area is 88 percent advanced and scheduled to be completed in October 2019. Construction of the sulphidization-acidification-recycle-thickening (“SART”), pregnant, intermediate, barren, and major events solution ponds and five-layer liner system installation are 92 percent complete.
About the Lindero gold project, Argentina
In September 2017, the commencement of construction at Lindero was officially launched. Lindero has been designed as an 18,750 tonnes per day owner operated open pit mine with a pit life of 13 years based on existing mineral reserves. Crushed ore will be placed on a leach pad with the pregnant solution pumped to SART1 and ADR2 plants prior to electrowinning and refining where gold will be poured to doré bars.
About Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.
Fortuna is a growth oriented, precious metals producer focused on mining opportunities in Latin America. Our primary assets are the Caylloma silver Mine in southern Peru, the San Jose silver-gold Mine in Mexico and the Lindero gold Project, currently under construction, in Argentina. The Company is selectively pursuing acquisition opportunities throughout the Americas and in select other areas. For more information, please visit our website at www.fortunasilver.com