Lion One Metals has issued a tender for underground mining services at its fully permitted Tuvatu Gold Project in Fiji. The company has also received competing bids for the EPC contract and fabrication of the Tuvatu processing plant and construction of the supporting infrastructure.
Lion One expects to award the underground mining contract following agreement of final terms and conditions. The contract will be for an initial period of 18 months.
It will involve the following:
· Enlarge the exploration portal and construct a new production portal;
· Slash the existing exploration decline;
· Complete the majority of the decline and level development including ventilation raises; and
· Stope production in available levels.
In addition to the ongoing detailed engineering design by Yantai Jinpeng Engineering, the company has received three competing bids for final engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Tuvatu processing plant and supporting infrastructure.
The bids are for the construction of a new 210,000 tonne/annum carbon-in-leach (CIL) gold ore processing facility to be fabricated in China to western standards and Fijian Building Code.
In addition to the processing plant, the EPC contract is expected to include the following supporting infrastructure:
· Dry stack tailings storage;
· Primary diesel power generation system;
· Assay lab;
· Water supply and water treatment infrastructure;
· Truck shop, warehouse, dry and other operations infrastructure; and
· Central administration complex.
It is envisaged that the EPC contract will be signed as soon as agreement is achieved on final terms and conditions to allow work to proceed quickly.
The company is completing the final bulk earthworks design as it intends to start excavation on the mill site to be followed by commencement of mining.
Lion One’s CEO Walter Berukoff said, “These developments have run concurrently with our efforts to conclude funding arrangements for the project and will enable full-scale mining, stockpiling and underground development to begin in tandem with critical path components of the EPC contract.”
Exploration and infill drilling continues with two drills on site, and assay results are pending in the next few weeks.
Tuvatu is 17km from the Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji. Discovered in 1987, Tuvatu is a high grade, low sulphidation, epithermal gold deposit hosted inside a South Pacific style volcanic caldera. The deposit occurs along the Viti Levu lineament, Fiji’s own corridor of high grade gold deposits.