After three years of construction, Lundin Gold has completed its South Ventilation Raise (SVR) project at the Fruta del Norte gold operation in southeast Ecuador, and it is operational.
The project did encounter delays due to COVID and various technical challenges, but the work plan was revised last year from a traditional 5.1-metre raise bore to a 2.1-metre diameter pilot raise followed by top-down slashing to 5.1 metres and concrete lining.
The slash and line was completed in early October and commissioning of the fans was achieved over the past couple of weeks. As a result of the completion of the SVR, ventilation in the mine will increase from 180 m3/s to 350 m3/s resulting in improved efficiencies and enabling mining activities on all levels.
“The SVR project has had its challenges, but the team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the delays did not impact operations,” president and CEO Ron Hochstein said.
“With the SVR now complete and commissioned, the entirety of the Fruta del Norte deposit can be accessed and mined, and haul truck cycle times can be improved.”
According to Lundin, Fruta del Norte is among the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world.