Construction of Camino Rojo is 50 Percent CompleteBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 07/08/2021 - 17:04
Minera Camino Rojo, Orla Mining's transnational company, has announced that construction of its Camino Rojo Oxide Project in Zacatecas is currently 50 percent complete and if all falls according to plan, production will begin in early 2022. In addition, the company is working on various social and environmental aspects to ensure that its operations do not generate a negative impact.
Currently, the company is making significant progress in the construction of its Camino Rojo Project. At the moment, 50 percent of the construction is complete and is expected to be finished by early 2022. Meanwhile, the process plant and main facilities will be ready in 4Q21. If everything goes according to plan, Camino Rojo will produce its first doré bar in December, while a more constant production will be achieved until the first months of 2022.
The project is expected to have an annual production of 94,000oz for 10.5 years. The company recently extended the mine life by 4 years and increased its reserves by 54 percent due to its Layback Agreement with Fresnillo. The agreement allows Orla to expand its Camino Rojo oxide pit within the Fresnillo mineral concession to better target its minerals. The first months the production will be higher than expected; however, after a while it will go down, explained Sergio Sáenz, General Manager of Minera Camino Rojo.
In regards to the company's permits, those required for the first phase of the project have been approved. Meanwhile, the second phase fieldwork and permits have not been completed yet. Water is one of the main concerns of the project, since it is located in an arid zone, for which the company has obtained water concessions. Sáenz said the project's location makes access to water difficult not only for the company but also for nearby communities. For this reason, it is working with the Ministry of Water and Environment (SAMA) in Zacatecas to find solutions and alternatives.
Camino Rojo seeks to be a socially and environmentally responsible project, for which hydrological studies are being carried out to ensure that the project does not have a negative impact on the water of nearby communities. In addition, the company is laying the foundations for good drainage and waste management.
As for state taxes for gas emissions, the company announced that it will pay them once it begins operations. Sáenz said that there has been a lot of controversy between the state and the industry on this issue; however, there has been no opportunity for dialogue. However, he said Orla is committed to working and having a good relationship with all levels of government.
In addition, the company has several development plans and programs for nearby communities, which focus on improving health, education, infrastructure and basic services. “Our social responsibility strategy is based in the conviction that we are part of the communities where we operate, therefore we strive to make these communities feel part of the process of building a mine and benefit from it. They cannot be merely spectators. We have implanted a very good community relations program, based in open and honest communication between them and the company,” Saenz told MBN.
Currently, 875 people work in the construction of the mine; of which 150 are from the community. Minera Camino Rojo and Orla Mining promote the hiring of local people and suppliers for the benefit of the communities. Once production begins, the workforce will constitute 450 workers. However, the company assured that it will continue working with locals in different areas of the project.