Lundin Gold increases reserves at Fruta del Norte after several years of production
(Kitco News) - On Monday, Lundin Gold (TSX: LUG) announced its updated mineral reserves and resources estimate (MRE) as at December 31, 2022 for the Fruta del Norte gold mine (FDN) in Ecuador.
The company said that compared to its previously reported MRE as at April 30, 2016, it added 1.58 million ounces of gold to FDN’s mineral reserves, more than replacing mined mineral reserves since the beginning of operations.
According to a press release, updated proven and probable reserves for FDN are reported at 18.0 Mt with an average grade of 8.68 g/t containing 5.0 Moz of gold, an increase of approximately 4.2% from the 2016 estimate.
“With this update, Lundin Gold has replaced all reserves mined from the beginning of operations in late 2019 and added additional reserves,” the company said. “In addition, the new estimate includes reserves in the proven category which demonstrates greater confidence in the updated reserves.”
Importantly, Lundin noted that expansion of proven and probable reserves into the southern portion of the deposit underlines the significant potential for further reserve replacement from additional drilling in this sector.
The company added that updated measured and indicated resources are reported at 23.0 million tonnes with an average grade of 9.20 grams per tonne containing 6.8 million ounces of gold.
“A total of 9.3 Mt with an average grade of 12.09 g/t containing 3.6 Moz of gold are now categorized as measured resources as a result of an improved understanding of the deposit geology. The company reported no estimates of measured resources in the 2016 estimate,” it said.
Lundin also pointed out that there are still 1.7 Moz of inferred resources at FDN, which it believes will play a “significant role” in continuing to replace production in the future.
“We expect that this updated resource and reserve estimate is only the first step in continuing to expand the total minable ounces of gold, allowing Fruta del Norte to continue production for many years to come," commented President and CEO Ron Hochstein.
Lundin Gold, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, owns the Fruta del Norte gold mine in southeast Ecuador. Fruta del Norte is among the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world.