Armenia-focused gold mine developer Lydian International Ltd (TSE:LYD) is on the brink of breaking ground at its massive Amulsar mine, it revealed.
The group has made a formal decision to begin construction.
Chief executive and president Howard Stevenson told investors: "Lydian is now rapidly advancing on a number of fronts to achieve a summer start to construction at Amulsar.
"Basic engineering is advancing and we plan to tender several key contracts during the coming weeks in anticipation of breaking ground.
"We expect to accomplish a number of milestones this year and will outline our path forward at Lydian's upcoming annual meeting."
Amulsar expected to be largest gold mine in Armenia
The move follows the recent amended mining right from the Republic of Armenia, and the completion of a $38.3-million public offering and US$80mln in private placements.
Amulsar is expected to be the largest gold mine in Armenia, producing an average of 243,000 ounces of gold per year over an initial five years of operation.
Lydian said with a 10-year life-of-mine and total cash cost estimated at US$509 per gold ounce, Amulsar will be a highly profitable.
The first gold pour is expected within around 20 months from construction start.
Lydian will also be evaluating future expansion potential from currently defined inferred resources and, ultimately, from open extensions at depth, it said.
The group agreed a comprehensive US$325mln financing package in late 2015 in a milestone deal, and construction capital is estimated at US$370million.
Financing for more than 80% of this is in place, with equipment financing is expected to fill in the remainder, the group said.
Shares in Toronto gained 1.49% to stand at C$0.34 each.