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First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin

The first full quarter of operations at the restarted Fruta del Norte in Ecuador has shown what the new gold mine is capable of achieving, Lundin Gold president and CEO Ron Hochstein said yesterday.
First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin First full quarter shows what FDN is capable of: Lundin

Lundin Gold has notched up its first full quarter of production at Fruta del Norte in Ecuador

Staff reporter

Lundin said the mine had produced 94,250 ounces of gold in the September quarter, with about 66,790oz as concentrate and 27,460oz as doré.

It had produced 28,678oz in 2019 and reached commercial production in February but was mothballed in March over COVID-19 concerns.

It restarted in early July.

"The restart and ramp-up of operations went very smoothly following the three-month suspension of operations due to COVID-19," Hochstein said.

During the quarter, the mill processed about 324,000 tonnes at an average throughput rate of 3,340t, with the ore grade averaging 10.4g/t and recovery 86.8%.

Fruta del Norte had produced 145,570oz in the nine months to September 30.

Lundin Gold is estimating production of 200,000-220,000oz for 2020.

"At this time, the company is maintaining its production outlook of 150,000 to 170,000 ounces at Fruta del Norte for the second half of 2020, targeting the upper end of the range based on its fourth quarter plan of mining and processing ore, at a slightly lower average grade compared to the third quarter," it said.

The mine is expected to average 325,000oz per annum over 14 years, however the company is assessing an expansion and a study is due "within weeks".

Lundin Gold plans to publish its third quarter results on November 9 after market close in North America.

Its shares (TSX: LUG) closed up 4.1% to C$12.60, near the top of a one-year range and capitalising it at $2.9 billion (US$2.2 billion).