Gold miner IRL gets green light for Peru project
LIMA, Sept 26
LIMA, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Peru approved the environmental and social impact study for IRL's $180 million Ollachea gold mine, allowing construction to start on the project next year, the firm said on Thursday.
The mine, in Peru's southern Puno region, will likely start production in 2015 with output of more than 920,000 ounces of gold over the first nine years, the firm said in a press release.
Lima-based precious metals miner IRL said it expects to get construction permits in the first quarter of 2014, and will likely wrap up financing negotiations by the end of this year.
The firm said last year it won backing from local communities through an agreement that includes giving a town a small stake in Ollachea.
IRL now produces gold from its Corihuarmi mine in Peru.
The company's announcement comes a day after Canadian miner Bear Creek Mining Corp said it secured environmental approvals from the Peruvian government for its Corani silver project.
The administration of President Ollanta Humala has pledged to cut red tape and speed up approvals for mining firms as weak mineral exports have slowed economic growth in the Andean country more than expected this year.
Peru is the world's sixth biggest gold producer.
Last month IRL secured financing for its Don Nicolas project in Argentina, and the mine is expected to produce an average of 52,400 ounces of gold and 56,000 ounces of silver per year.
IRL has said it aims to use its new mines to become a mid-tier gold producer with annual output of 150,000 to 200,000 ounces.
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