M3 Engineering & Technology (M3) has secured the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract from Orla Mining for the Camino Rojo oxide gold project.

The 100% Orla-owned project is located in Zacatecas State, Mexico, and covers more than 200,000ha.

M3 will undertake work on the Camino Rojo project from its office located in Hermosillo and provide senior review from the Tucson office in Arizona.

The company will provide detailed engineering, construction planning and execution, contractor management and cost control services for the project.

Engineering work is expected to start this month.

Orla Mining president and CEO Jason Simpson said: “M3 has a wealth of engineering knowledge and with its extensive experience in Mexico, it is well suited to design and build the Camino Rojo project on time and on budget.

“We look forward to commencing detailed engineering work by mid-September as we work with M3 to build a high-quality project that begins to produce gold in mid-2021.”

The Camino Rojo project is a low capital intensity, rapid payback and high margins project, featuring an 18,000t per day heap-leach open pit operation.

More than 44Mt grading 0.73g/t Au and 14.2g/t Ag is expected to be processed during the mine’s working life.

According to the company, gold production is expected to be more than 97,000oz per year priced at $576 per ounce of gold.

A feasibility study is now complete, while environmental permit applications will be finalised and submitted in the third quarter of this year.

The project is scheduled to start construction in the first half of next year.