In its results covering the second half of 2019, the AIM-listed exploration and development company noted that mine schedule, waste dump schedule, water and sewage management studies for the processing plant offices and accommodation have been completed and Tierra Group is fully engineering the tailing storage facility and completing designs for the surface water management system required for the operation of the mine.
Exploration activities during 2019 took second place to the key objective of completing the technical studies that are a condition of the environmental permit for La India open pit, Condor said.
The key objective for 2020 is to start the site preparation before the end of the year. This will involve completing the purchase of all surface rights within the mine site infrastructure - about 50% has been purchased to date) - and completing the technical studies required by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources ahead of a construction decision.
Offers have been made for all the surface rights, Condor said.
Meanwhile, the company has conducted technical mining studies to see if it is possible to generate production much earlier by mining a ‘mini pit’ within the permitted La India open pit and trucking the mineralised ore to a nearby processing plant to be processed but at present, it is not clear whether a toll milling agreement can be reached.
The chairman and chief executive of Condor, Mark Child, said there are significant benefits of Condor making the transition from an exploration and development company to a gold producer in the near future. Maintaining a social licence to operate is highly important and Condor will continue with its extensive social programmes in the local community, Child said.
At present, however, Condor is not earning any revenues and is thus loss-making. The loss before tax in the first half of the company’s fiscal year narrowed to £1.2mln from £1.5mln the year before.
The net cash balance of the group at the end of 2019 was £2,903,556, up from £220,975 a year earlier.