Loma Larga – Outlook and Update
In November 2018, the company announced the positive results of the Feasibility Study (“FS”) of the Loma Larga Gold Project to a consortium of consultants led by DRA Americas Inc. building upon the Company’s Pre-feasibility Study (“PFS”) prepared in 2016. With an after-tax 24.7% IRR and 2.6 year payback period, the FS confirms the Project’s viability and demonstrates the strong profitability and economics of the Loma Larga gold-copper-silver project. The Company’s recent successful drilling programs and the significant optimization to the mine plan in the FS resulted in an increase of the estimated Mineral Reserves by 18.1% or 338,000 gold ounces from the 2016 Mineral Reserve estimates. The mine plan focuses on developing and mining high grade areas of the mine at a rate of 3,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”) in the early years, and reaching 3,400 tpd in year 5, resulting in higher average annual recovered production of 267,000 gold equivalent ounces over the first four full years and an annual average of 206,000 gold equivalent ounces recovered over the life of the mine (See Press Release).
Loma Larga is one of five strategic mining projects identified by the Government of Ecuador and will be the next large-scale mining development project to be financed and permitted in the country, following upon the success of the Fruta del Norte gold project by Lundin Gold Corp. With the demonstrated strong support of the Ecuadorian government and our surrounding local communities of Chumblin, San Gerardo, and Victoria del Portete, INV Metals plans to aggressively move the Project forward aiming to break ground in early 2020, with the goal of achieving first gold concentrate production in late 2021. The positive social and economic impacts will be important both locally and nationally, and will provide exciting new employment, training, procurement and business opportunities throughout the region.
The Company’s discovery of ore-grade mineralization up to 300 metres to the west of the current Mineral Resources, the findings of a detailed re-evaluation and study of the deposit, as well as the potential of the entire Loma Larga property, demonstrate that the deposit remains open in most directions with potential to increase Mineral Resources along strike and at depth, both of which remain largely untested, and to find additional deposits on the property.
The Company will proceed with the following near-term activities including continued stakeholder engagement, environmental permit application completion and submission and financing discussions.