Canada-based Atico Mining has secured an extension for its La Plata project’s mining concession in Ecuador until 2049.

The concession extension was granted by the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Ecuador through the Central Coordination Zone.

It will offer the mining company a significant timeline to further engineering, construction and operational activities.

It is also said to enable the integration of any future exploration successes that could enhance the project’s estimated resources.

Atico noted that the new term will commence upon registration in the Mining Registry under the Agency for Regulation and Control of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources.

The Ecuadorian Government’s decision to extend the concession is seen as a positive step for Atico’s investment plans in the La Plata project.

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The company has the option to apply for an additional 25-year extension in 2048, if necessary.

Currently, the La Plata project is in the final stages of environmental licensing, and the company hopes to achieve this over the coming months.

Located in the district of Toachi, roughly 100km south-west of Quito, the La Plata project is wholly owned by Atico.

It is a high-grade volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, with a history of small-scale mining by Outokumpu Finland from 1975–1981.

The deposit is rich in gold, copper, zinc and silver, and has an exploration profile with several advanced targets identified by geochemistry, geology and geophysics.

Plans for the project cover a 900 tonnes per day underground mining operation, including a filtered tailings facility that is said to be the first of its type in Ecuador.