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Lundin Gold On Schedule With Fruta del Norte Project

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(Kitco News) - Lundin Gold Inc. (TSX: LUG) has begun mining of its first production stope at the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador, the company announced late Tuesday.

“Fruta del Norte reached another important milestone on schedule,” said Ron Hochstein, president and chief executive officer. “At the end of May, overall construction progress was 73% complete and 88% of the project’s capital expenditure was committed.”

The first gold pour is expected later this year, he continued.

The processing plant was 80% completed as of the end of May, the company said. All major pieces of processing equipment have been installed. Wet commissioning of initial systems is expected to start in early July and continue throughout the third quarter. The powerline was 88% completed at the end of May, with agreements reached on all easements necessary to finish construction, the company said.

On Tuesday, Lundin drew another $142 million from its $350 million credit facility. This brings the total so far to $301 million. Officials said the next draw is expected later this year as the project nears its production ramp-up stage.

The company’s website describes Fruta del Norte as a large, high-grade gold deposit with probable reserves of 5.02 million ounces of gold grading at 8.74 grams per tonne. Construction began in the middle of 2017.

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