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"We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule"

Developer Lundin Gold (TSX:LUG) says its large-scale, high-grade Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador is on track as it aims for first gold production in 2019.
"We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule" "We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule" "We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule" "We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule" "We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule"

Lundin notches up construction milestones

Staff reporter

The project has a pre-production capex of US$684 million, a 4.9 million ounce reserve grading 9.2g/t gold and is expected to produce more than 300,000 ounces annually over 15 years.

Lundin said this week it had reached major construction milestones, including more than 1km of underground mine development and completing the new 1,000-person construction camp.

It has also poured the foundation bases for the SAG and ball mills, improved site logistics by finishing the River Road, completed the first major pond for the site water management system and awarded more than 84% of production fleet contracts.

President and CEO Ron Hochstein said overall engineering was 26% complete and construction 16% complete and the company was looking for efficiencies as it moved the project forward.

"We continue to advance Fruta del Norte on budget and on schedule," he said.

Last week, Lundin announced two banks had joined the lenders syndicate, with their commitments increasing the senior secured project finance facility to $350 million.

It closed a $400 million private placement last month, with Australian-based Newcrest Mining taking a 27.1% stake in the company through a $250 million investment

Lundin has also fully drawn the $110 million under a gold prepay and streaming deal with Orion Mine Finance and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.

Lundin bought the project in 2014 for $240 million from Kinross Gold, which had shelved the project a year earlier after a two-year stalemate with Ecuador's government over key economic and legal terms.

The government has subsequently overhauled its mining policy to increase its appeal to investors, and was expecting to receive more than $1 billion in foreign investment for its mining sector this year.

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