SMM7, March 25 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet / Lumina Gold of Canada said Tuesday that Ecuador's recent changes to mining regulations will enable it to strengthen exploration for its Cangrejos gold and copper project.
The reforms developed by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of non-Renewable Natural Resources allowed companies to carry out non-systematic drilling during the early exploration phase of their mining concessions. Prior to the reform of Ecuador's mining regulations, drilling activities were allowed only at the advanced exploration stage and were subject to environmental permits issued by the Government.
Lumina said the change would allow it to explore the western side of its Cangrejos mining project deposit (C20) and previously untested areas. These tests will help Lumina determine whether it can explore more mineral resources. The Cangrejos gold and copper project in southern Ecuador has an estimated operational life of 16 years and annual production of 373000 ounces of gold and 43 million pounds of copper. The company expects to be able to handle 40,000 tons of ore a day in the first five years of operation and increase to 80,000 tons a day in the sixth year.
The initial cost (including working capital) of the project in El Oro province is $831 million, while the planned expansion will require a further investment of $406 million.
At present, Ecuador's emerging mining industry provides 3700 jobs, but the Government estimates that this figure will rise to about 16000 between 2018 and 2020.
Cao Yuuqin, (SMM) of Shanghai Colored Network, translated from extranet
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