Atico Mining Corp. [ATY-TSXV, ATCMF-OTCQX] said it is positioned to put its 100%-owned La Plata gold-copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit in Ecuador into production in the short term.
As part of the necessary permit and licensing process to start construction of the mine facilities, Atico said it has received the resolution from the sectoral ministry which contains the approval to place the project into the economic evaluation stage.
“With this change, the company can now proceed to develop its operations under the medium-scale regime, according to Ecuadorian legislation,’’ the company said. “This mining regime allows the La Plata project to legally extract and process up to 1,000 tonnes per day of minerals from its high-grade VMS.’’
“Along with these government actions, strong cash flow generation at the El Roble mine [in Ecuador] and the recently announced US$10 million financing, Atico is in a very strong position to move forward with its plan to put the La Plata project into operation in the short term,’’ said Atico President Alain Bureau.
On February 22, 2022, Atico shares closed at 43 cents and currently trade in a 52-week range of 78 cents and 36.5 cents.
The La Plata property consists of two mining concessions, La Florida and Loma del Tigre, which cover 2,300 hectares and is located 85 kilometres southwest of the capital city of Quito. Total driving time in a four-wheel light truck is about three hours from Quito.
Previous operators, including Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. [CGP-TSXV, CTNXF-OTC, FWB-GWN1] outlined a “historic resource” of 914,000 tonnes, grading 8.01 grams gold, 88.29 grams silver, 5.01% copper, 6.71% zinc and 0.78% lead per tonne. The property was also drilled by a Canadian company previously known as Cambior Inc. between 1996 and 2000.
In October, 2015, Toachi Mining, previously known as Ferrum Americas Mining Inc., secured an option to earn between 60% and 75% in the La Plata project.
Ferrum was a shell company led by Laurence Curtis an economic geologist and geochemist, who has been in the mining industry for 40 years, including 10 spent as CEO of Australian gold producer Intrepid Mines Ltd.
Aside from the impressive grades, the La Plata project offers multiple advanced exploration targets defined by coincident geochemistry, geology, and geophysics, as well as an exploration database that includes records from 14,000 metres of drilling.
Toachi previously said its exploration staff identified more than 14 discrete exploration targets across the property concessions which extend for more than nine kilometres, attesting to the potential of this emerging district, the company said.
This year, Atico is focused on completing the feasibility study, the environmental impact study, and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses to begin construction.
Atico said the project has been identified by the government of Ecuador as one of the next mining operations and also included in its economic recovery plan.