Atico receives key certificate for Ecuador mine

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Atico Mining Corp. [ATY-TSXV, ATCMF-OTCQX] has cleared another hurdle on the road to production at its 100%-owned La Plata gold-copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit in Ecuador.

The company said it has received its certificate of viability from the Mining and Energy Ministry for the construction and operations of its filtered tailing and barren rock storage facilities.

The move follows the announcement that the Ministry of Environment and Ecological Transition of Ecuador had signed the approval of the environmental impact study (EIA) for La Plata.

“The subsequent step in the permitting process, before the construction of the mine can begin, is the socialization of the results of the EIA with the neighbouring communities which will be done in collaboration with officials of the regional government,’’ the company said in a press release.

“The conclusion of this process will then allow the government to present to the company the environmental licence, being the final document required to start earth movements and construction.’’

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.

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.

This year, Atico has been 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.

The La Plata project plan consists of a 900-tonne-per-day underground mining operation with state-of-the-art infrastructure, the most significant infrastructure being the construction of a filtered tailings facility, a first of its kind in Ecuador.

This technology, which is already in used at the company’s El Roble mine in Colombia, allows for efficient use of water by significantly reducing water consumption through recirculating almost all of the water needs for the processing plant.

On June 7, 2022, Atico shares closed at 37 cents and currently trade in a 52-week range of 68 cents and 3I cents.

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