Published On: Tue, Jun 2nd, 2020

Fruta del Norte gold mine : Lundin Gold initiates first phase of restarting operations

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Lundin Gold has initiated the first phase of restarting operations at its Fruta del Norte gold mine in Ecuador, which were suspended owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Canadian mining company said that it has shipped all of the concentrate and doré which were stored at the site since the suspension of operations in late March 2020. Apart from that, reagents, spare parts, and other supplies, that had been accumulating at the Guayaquil port are being moved to the project location, said Lundin Gold.

On 15 May 2020,  the mining industry received Covid-19 protocols from the Ecuadorian government that were needed to safely restart mining operations. Also, the Ecuador government set up logistics corridors that enable transportation for the mining sector, said Lundin Gold.

– President and CEO of Lundin Gold said: “The reestablishment of transportation corridors was an important first step in our plan to restart operations at the Mine. We are in the last stages of finalizing the restart of our operations, which is expected to occur early in the third quarter of this year.”

According to Lundin Gold, another important step in phase one of restarting was to getting its personnel back to site, in addition to moving supplies. The Canadian mining company claimed to have established a strict protocol for personnel movement, which includes a seven-day quarantine period followed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The employee or contractor will be allowed to enter the Fruta del Norte gold mine only if their test results were negative, said Lundin Gold.

Other protocols include increasing the lengths of work shifts for cutting down the number of rotations, putting in force regular controls, social and physical distancing, usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) when social distancing is not possible, sanitization of work areas and requiring any Covid-19 like symptoms to be communicated promptly, said Lundin Gold.

The Canadian gold miner said that although the mining operations were suspended, workers at the site have been undertaking various projects and maintenance work ahead of the restart of operations at the gold project in Ecuador.

As part of this, the SAG mill was relined, and maintenance of underground dewatering equipment was taken up. Infrastructure and mill modifications were also carried out for boosting mill recoveries.

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