Vancouver-based precious and base metals exploration and development company Lumina is focused on the Cangrejos Gold-Copper Project. In 2023, the Company completed a Pre-Feasibility Study for Cangrejos, which is the largest primary gold deposit in Ecuador and the 26th largest primary gold asset globally. Lumina has an experienced management team with a successful track record of advancing and monetising exploration projects. The Cangrejos project is located in El Oro province, SW Ecuador, 30 km SE of the provincial capital of Machala and the Pan American Highway and 40 km from the deep water commercial port of Puerto Bolivar. Access to the property is via paved and 8 km of gravel roads. The company has a field camp and core facility located on the property.
Now Lumina has announced that its activities at the Cangrejos project are proceeding on schedule. The company has been actively executing its 2023 feasibility study drill plan with nine rigs currently at site. Lumina Gold has also been advancing work related to the feasibility study expected to be completed in Q1 of 2025.
Drilling and feasibility study updates
Over 11,000 metres have been completed out of the planned 18,000 metres of resource, geotechnical and metallurgical drilling. The drill programme is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. Lumina compares assay results as they are received against those predicted by the pre-feasibility study block model, and the average results from assays received to date are tracking extremely well, the company says.
Contracts have been signed with several engineering companies for the advancement of the feasibility study for the Cangrejos project. These companies include IMC Mining Consultants to complete the mining sections, SIM Geological for resource estimation, Wyllie & Norrish Rock Engineers for pit slope engineering, and Austin International as the metallurgical qualified person.
Several trade-off studies have been initiated in an effort to further optimise the Cangrejos project. The studies are focused on: firstly, potentially resequencing when Gran Bestia, a second adjacent deposit discovered in 2018, enters the mine plan, with the goal of reducing haulage to the waste rock storage facility by utilising the depleted Cangrejos deposit area. Secondly, a review of final site infrastructure placement to assist with project optimisation and permitting. And thirdly, a review of the flowsheet to allow for the processing of gold bearing saprolite that was treated as waste in the pre-feasibility study.
The results and potential implications of these studies should be available to the company in early 2024. Lumina is in the process of selecting the feasibility study process lead consultant, which will be determined over the next several months.
Ecuador's new administration
Lumina, in common with most mining companies with an interest in the very considerable and largely underdeveloped resources known to exist in Ecuador, Is in general encouraged by the election, on Sunday, October 15, 2023, of Daniel Noboa as President of Ecuador. Lumina's management team believes that President Elect Noboa will continue policies supportive of mining in Ecuador. He has said that he will prioritise the attraction of foreign investment and that responsible mining has great potential to be an important source of financing for social projects and generation of employment. The country's clear desire to improve its economy by tapping the wealth it holds below ground is tempered by historical resistance of its indigenous peoples, whose opposition to mining development has in the past fostered uncertainty. Nevertheless Lumina looks forward to engaging with the new administration on its Exploitation Agreement terms and Exploitation Investment Protection Agreement to support the development of Cangrejos.
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