SolGold on a roll in Ecuador, extends mineralization at Cascabel

Shares in Ecuador-focused miner SolGold (LON:SOLG) (TSX:SOLG) got a fresh boost Thursday after the company announced it has further extended the mineralized footprint of its 85%-owned Cascabel copper-gold project, 180 km north of the country’s capital Quito.

The company said assay results from hole 26 returned an open-ended 810 metres at 0.72% copper equivalent, and extended the property’s Alpala mineralized trend 300 metres to the northwest of hole 15R2, which in turn returned 830 metres at 0.93%.

SolGold's Cascabel project is located in the northern portion of the Andean copper belt in Ecuador, renowned for hosting almost half the world’s copper known reserves.

The Australian gold miner noted that Alpala Northwest now presents second potential large block cave target.

SolGold’s Cascabel has been compared to Rio Tinto’s world class Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia and the results from hole 26 seem to indicate there is much more intense mineralization in the property than evident in previous drilling results.

“It appears that holes 11 and 13 may have skirted the top southwest side of the deposit, underscoring the importance of the magnetic modelling,” SolGold’s chief executive Nick Mather said in the market update. “We now envisage a second large block cave target at Alpala Northwest. Hole 27 has extended the halo mineralization on the south east side of Alpala Central," he said.

Sold Gold, which recently began trading in the Toronto Stock Exchange, is directing drilling capability and operations currently to the collection of drill data to be used in the delivery of a maiden inferred resource estimate to address this target by end of 2017, it said. The company is also commencing planning for the collection of necessary data to complete a prefeasibility assessment by end of 2018.

The miner’s stock was up 0.8% on Thursday at 36.44 pence right after the announcement.

In the last year, the share price has climbed almost 390%. This is ahead of other companies listed in London, including BHP (LON:BLT), Glencore (LON:GLEN) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO). In the same period, BHP Billiton has risen 49%, Glencore is up 110% and Rio Tinto has gained 62%.

Sold Gold on a roll in Ecuador, extends mineralization while drilling Cascabel

Cascabel project location. (Courtesy of SolGold.)

SolGold's Cascabel project is located in the northern portion of the Andean copper belt in Ecuador, renowned for hosting almost half the world’s copper known reserves.

The South American country has been gaining ground as a mining investment destination thanks to a revised regulatory framework and a major investor engagement campaign that has already attracted around 420 applications for concessions in less than a year.

Currently, the nation’s emerging mining sector employs 3,700 people, but the government estimates the figure will rise to about 16,000 in the 2017-2020 period.