The company is moving ahead with permitting and feasibility study work and says "a major component of this study [is] finding a solution for clean energy".
The power agreement with CNEL confirms availability of a regional substation 7.5km from La Plata, and "allows the streamlining of the electrical power [69kv] supply to the project".
"This agreement allows an easier cooperation of all engineering and environmental teams to ensure the coordinated development and construction of the required powerline and connectivity to the main grid," Atico said.
Alain Bureau, Atico president, said the Ecuador government had been "quite supportive of the project and our efforts to maintain excellent cooperation and transparency with all level of authorities".
"After several months of productive negotiations with CNEL and the Ecuadorean energy authorities we are pleased with the execution of this strategic agreement as it brings the Company's La Plata project another step closer towards production," he said.
Atico has two drill rigs at 60%-owned La Plata and says in-fill drilling on the copper-gold-zinc-silver VMS deposit will continue for the rest of 2020. The company wants to develop a 800 tonnes a day underground mine at La Plata, which has a current resource of 2Mt grading 12.9g/t gold-equivalent.
The company has a 1,000tpd mine and plant at El Roble in Colombia, which produces about 10Mlb copper and 5,300oz gold a year at AISC of US$1.46/lb copper.
Atico's share price (TSXV: ATY) is trading around C50c, capitalising the company at $59 million.