The Canadian gold miner said that as of 31 December 2018, it has completed 85% of the overall engineering work and 45% of construction on its 100% owned Fruta del Norte gold project.

Lundin Gold, which claims to have achieved a total of 4.5km of underground mine development at the gold project by the close of 2018, said that it has commenced level development.

Lundin Gold president and CEO Ron Hochstein said: “Our team has reached, and in some cases exceeded the Project’s targets, all while maintaining excellent safety standards.

“With 70% of our capital expenditure committed and detailed engineering nearly done, Fruta del Norte is on schedule to meet its target of producing first gold in the fourth quarter of this year.”

The Canadian firm said that it had wrapped up work on the K’isa decline of the Fruta del Norte gold project last month after achieving 2.1km of total development and transitioning it to production level 1170.

On the other hand, the Kuri decline is at 2,070m of total development and is heading towards lower production levels in the mine, said Lundin Gold with the decline completed this month.

The Canadian mining company revealed that most of the large process plant mechanical equipment is now on site while 22% of the powerline is completed.

Lundin Gold said that it had signed the Mountain Pass Quarry Exploitation Agreement with the local government in the fourth quarter of last year, following which extraction of aggregate materials commenced.

The company said that material from the Mountain Pass Quarry was needed to move ahead with the construction of the tailings storage facility.

Construction at the Fruta del Norte gold project started mid-2017. The gold deposit, which was acquired by Lundin Gold for $240m from Kinross in 2014, has probable reserves of 5.02 million ounces of gold grading at 8.74 grams per ton.