London / February 26, 2018 / JMN Wire/ Condor Gold (AIM: CNR; OTCQX: CNFGF; TSX: COG) is pleased to announce that it has formally submitted an amendment to an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Nicaragua (“MARENA”), which is part of an application for an Environmental Permit, to construct and operate a processing plant with capacity to process up to 2,800 tonnes per day (“tpd”) or 1 million tonnes per annum (“tpa”), without the need to resettle approximately 330 houses or 1,000 people.
Mark Child, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Condor, commented:
“Condor has been in constructive dialogue for several months with Nicaraguan Government officials at Minister level to permit the construction and operation of a new gold mine at Mina La India, Nicaragua. The general feedback has been that permitting will be much easier if the mine can be redesigned to proceed without resettling 1,000 people. Condor has accordingly formally submitted an amendment to the main permit application to proceed without resettlement.
I am delighted to say that Condor’s technical team believe that the La India Project is both technically viable and economically attractive to proceed with a redesigned open pit that does not require community resettlement and also includes the relocation of the processing plant approximately 1,200 metres from the village. Mine scheduling studies are on-going, and further details will be provided in due course. Condor Gold does not anticipate a material change in the total ounces of gold expected to be recoverable from the redesigned open pit compared to the open pit disclosed in the PFS (as defined below).”
Key Amendments to the ESIA
A study has been completed to progress the La India Project without the need for resettlement of the village of La Cruz de La India (the “Village”). The main changes are a redesigned open pit, the relocation of the processing plant 1,200 meters from the Village, the possible elimination of the southern waste dump, the elimination of the road relocation in year 3 of production and the relocation of the explosive magazine. A 5 metre high berm is planned between the redesigned open pit and the Village to reduce noise and dust pollution. The mine site infrastructure requirements will be reduced by over 30% to approximately 500 hectares.
The La India open pit disclosed in the PFS has an existing probable mineral reserve of 6.9 million tonnes (“Mt”) at 3.01 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold for 675,000 oz gold, as set forth in the Technical Report (as defined below) that was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”). A revised mine scheduling study is currently underway. The Company does not expect that the changes to the La India Project as detailed in the amended ESIA will materially change the mineral reserves, mineral resources and the production rate disclosed in the Technical Report.
On 1 December 2015 Condor announced that it had completed an ESIA and formally submitted an application for an Environmental Permit to MARENA for the construction and operation of an open pit mine, a CIL processing plant and associated infrastructure at La India Project, Nicaragua.
The ESIA is a 700 page document which considers the environmental and social impacts of gold production from the La India open pit mine plan detailed in the Technical Report and the Whittle Enterprise Optimisation study as announced on 20 October 2015. The ESIA draws on data from 15 different environmental and social baseline studies, some of which commenced in 2013. In addition to describing the potential impacts of a future commercial mine on the environment, the ESIA also contains detailed environmental management plans and social management plans to monitor and control any such impacts.
The ESIA follows the Terms of Reference issued by MARENA in May 2015 and is the principal document that will be assessed by MARENA in consideration of awarding the Environmental Permit. The Environmental Permit is the key permit for mining in Nicaragua. Many other permits, such as a water management permit, are conditional upon the grant of an Environmental Permit.
The original ESIA describes a processing plant that will have a capacity of between 2,300tpd (0.8mtpa)) and 2,800tpd (1.0mtpa). The processing plant capacity has not been changed in the amended ESIA. The amended ESIA continues to include processing of an additional 10,000 oz of gold p.a. from artisanal miners through the main processing plant.
Neither the contents of the Company's website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.
Certain disclosure contained in this news release of a scientific or technical nature has been summarized or extracted from the technical report entitled “Technical Report on the La India Gold Project, Nicaragua, December 2014”, dated November 13, 2017 with an effective date of December 21, 2014 (the “Technical Report”), prepared in accordance with NI 43-101. The Technical Report was prepared by or under the supervision of Tim Lucks, Principal Consultant (Geology & Project Management), Gabor Bacsfalusi, Principal Consultant (Mining), Benjamin Parsons, Principal Consultant (Resource Geology), each of SRK Consulting (UK) Limited, and Neil Lincoln of Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd., each of whom is an independent Qualified Person as such term is defined in NI 43-101.
David Crawford, Chief Technical Officer of the Company and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has approved the written disclosure in this press release.