ECUADOR - Energy & Mining
Country Manager, Dundee Precious Metals (DPM)
A geologist by training, Scott Campbell has 25 years of progressive experience in the resource and construction industries in Latin America. He has served in senior leadership positions at Barrick Gold for 13 years in Argentina and Peru and was vice president of South American projects at Pan American Silver Corp. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Earth sciences from Dalhousie University and graduate degrees from Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley. His background has brought him to Ecuador to serve as Country General Manager, specifically to lead the development of the strategic Loma Larga project in Ecuador.
DPM plans to develop the Loma Larga mine in line with the highest standards of environmental stewardship and stakeholder engagement to generate value for everyone involved.
What was the rationale behind DPM’s acquisition of Loma Larga?
This project is well-aligned with our core strengths and unique capabilities in developing world-class assets and applying industry-leading ESG solutions. It has similar geology, mining method, and processing flow sheet to DPM’s Chelopech underground copper-gold mine, which DPM has developed into a world-class, modern operation with a strong operating track record. We employ cutting-edge technology that improves our environmental performance, safety, and efficiencies. Chelopech was one of the first mines with underground wireless connections. Some other examples of innovation include autonomous aerial survey drones and mechanized emulsifiers. We have significant experience in building and operating a mine in a sensitive natural environment. Ada Tepe became the first new mine to commence operations in Bulgaria in over 40 years, following DPM’s highly successful engagement with the Bulgarian government and local stakeholders and the implementation of industry-leading solutions to protect the environment. Ada Tepe has been highlighted as a best practice in biodiversity management in a European Commission report and has helped to revitalize the surrounding community, which has the highest population growth rate in the country, as a significant number of residents who had previously immigrated abroad have now returned to the community to live and work. A portion of Loma Larga’s production will include complex concentrate, which can be processed at DPM’s Tsumeb smelter in Namibia or other outlets. Ecuador is looking at and committed to the development of a sustainable mining industry, and as an environmentally and socially responsible mining company, DPM can contribute to that.
What is the importance of the Loma Larga project in Dundee Precious Metals’ operations in the short and long term?
Loma Larga is a high-quality, advanced stage project with the potential to add meaningful production growth to our portfolio and provide further investment in the mining industry in Ecuador. The project is the right size, in terms of capital investment, for DPM. We expect to produce approximately 285,000 ounces of gold annually over the next three years. Loma Larga has the potential to produce approximately 200,000 ounces of gold per year for the first five years at a low all-in sustaining cost, which would continue to support DPM’s peer-leading cost profile. In addition to Loma Larga, we also have an advanced stage project in Serbia, as well as brownfield and greenfield exploration prospects.
What is your overview of Loma Larga development and special features of the Dundee Precious Metals mining development model?
Our approach to developing Loma Larga will be consistent with DPM’s commitment to adopting the highest standards of environmental stewardship and stakeholder engagement. Our purpose as a company is to unlock resources and generate value to thrive and grow together, not simply an extraction of minerals. In that sense, we will be looking at developing opportunities for stakeholders that are interested to grow with us. We are focused on developing trusted in-country partnerships and building economic capacity in the local communities where we operate. This means that we will prioritize hiring local employees and procuring services locally. Only when this is not possible will we look to the international market. At our other operations, more than 99% of our workforce is comprised of local nationals, including 98% of supervisor-level positions. We will provide the necessary training for future employees and service providers to be able to work at the required level. We are highly focused on environmental stewardship and are proud of our track record in this area. Ensuring we are protecting the environment is a prerequisite for DPM. We will look at developing the project as an example of natural and industrial habitats successfully coexisting. The project will be almost entirely surrounded by national park and protected territory, but DPM is experienced in building and operating a mine in a sensitive area. Health, safety, and the wellbeing of employees, contractors, and the surrounding communities are paramount for DPM.
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