In September 2017, the commencement of construction at Lindero was officially launched (refer to Fortuna news releases dated September 21, 2017 and December 21, 2017). The Lindero Mine has been designed as an 18,750 tonnes per day owner operated open pit operation with a pit life of 13 years based on current Mineral Reserves. Crushed ore will be placed on a leach pad with the pregnant solution pumped to SART1 and ADR2 plants prior to electrowinning and refining where gold will be poured to doré bars. The Company is advancing Lindero's ramp up phase as per the plan outlined in Fortuna´s news release dated May 8, 2020. First gold pour was achieved on October 2020 and commercial production is planned for the first quarter of 2021 (refer to Fortuna news releases dated October 20, 2020).
Total construction capital expenditure is forecast between US$314.0 million and US$320.0 million as per the updated construction and commissioning schedule (refer to Fortuna's news release dated October 20, 2020). This represents an increase of 28 percent from the September 2017 feasibility estimate. The technical report of the Lindero Mine is available on SEDAR and on the Company's website.
Adsorption, Desorption and Recovery
The Lindero Mine is located in the Argentinian puna at an elevation of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 meters, 260 kilometers due west of Salta City at latitude 25° 04' 56" S and longitude 67° 46' 47" W. Drive time from Salta City to Lindero is approximately 7 to 7.5 hours over a road distance of 420 kilometers. Access to the mine is via National Route 51, which passes through the towns of San Antonio de Los Cobres and Olacapato, and by Provincial Route 27, which passes through the towns of Pocitos and Tolar Grande. Tolar Grande is the nearest town to the mine, located 75 kilometers to the northeast.
Geology and Mineralization
The Lindero deposit is a gold-rich porphyry system hosted within a series of diorite to monzonite porphyritic stocks that intrude coarse-grained Ordovician granites and Early Tertiary red bed sandstones. Mineralization forms an inward plunging semi-circular shape approximately 600 meters in diameter and extends to a drill tested depth of 600 meters. Gold-copper mineralization shows a strong relationship to lithology, K-feldspar alteration, and stockwork veining.