The Canadian company Lundin Gold inaugurated on Wednesday the two access tunnels to the Fruta del Norte gold deposit, one of the largest and most important in the country.
The length of each of the tunnels, which were named Kuri (gold in Shuar) and K’isa (fruit in Quichua), is more than three kilometers to reach the site. It is estimated that it has reserves of approximately 4.9 million ounces of gold and 6.8 ounces of silver. Ron Hochstein, president and CEO of Lundin Gold, said that with the development of responsible mining the country benefits from the gold deposit.
He said that the management of the company is based on work with safety, the health of employees and members of the community and the care of the environment. For his part, the Minister of Mining, Javier Cordova, said that the resources of this project bring benefits to the communities that are nearby. “A mining industry goes through investment, the generation of employment, the development of communities to improve living conditions,” he said.
The company is scheduled to make its first gold production for the fourth quarter of 2019 and the mine is expected to generate an annual average of 325,000 ounces of gold for a period of 15 years.
Until December 2017, the project, located in the province of Zamora Chinchipe, hired 1,700 people, of whom 53% are of local origin. As part of the regularization plan for artisanal miners, since 2016 the company has trained more people dedicated to its operation in their concessions so that they can work under the legal and environmental regulations established by the Government and Lundin Gold.
Among the topics that are addressed are good environmental practices, care of water resources, waste management, among others. Until the end of 2017, the company granted 22 operating contracts for artisanal mining. (I)