Solgold shares jump on Ecuador drilling

Shares in Solgold plc (LON, TSX:SOLG) jumped  at the open after the company released the latest set of drill results from its massive Cascabel copper-gold project in northern Ecuador. In Toronto on Wednesday, Solgold shares added as much as 8.5% from yesterday's close in higher than usual volume for a market capitalization of $714m before paring some of those gains.

The latest in a string of results from Ecuador, where the Brisbane-based company have completed 110,000m of drilling again shows the sheer size of the Alpala target of the porphyry deposit located on the Andean belt, the world’s richest source of copper:

Highlights from the press release include:

Ø  Drilling at Alpala extends high-grade resource along the deep northeast margin of the deposit.  For example, Hole 41-D1-D1 is currently intersecting intense visible copper sulphide mineralisation and Hole 41-D1 final assay results returned:

  • 756m @ 0.82% CuEq, (incl. 380m @ 1.20% CuE, and 252m @ 1.53% CuEq)

Ø  Drilling at Alpala extends high-grade resource along the southwest margin of the deposit.  For example, Hole 42-D2 and Hole 44 final assay results returned:

  • 278m @ 0.83% CuEq (incl. 52m @ 1.63% CuEq), and 342m @ 0.38% CuEq.

Ø  Infill and extension drilling proximal to high grade core of the Alpala Deposit is upgrading and expanding the high-grade core of the deposit.  For example, Hole 53 is currently intersecting strong visible copper mineralisation, extending the southeast margin of the deposit, whilst infill Hole 43 final assay results returned:

  • 974m @ 0.71 % CuEq (incl. 478m @ 1.02% CuEq and 160m @ 1.56% CuEq)).

Ø  Extension drilling at Alpala Northwest and Alpala Southeast continues to add significant growth to Alpala deposit.  For example, Holes 49, 37-D1, 36-D1, and 39-D1 final assay results returned:

  • 302m @ 1.04% CuEq (incl. 120m @ 1.57% CuEq), 549m @ 0.43% CuEq (incl. 101m @ 0.60% CuEq open at depth), 652m @ 0.41% CuEq (incl. 138m @ 0.49% CuEq), and 192m @ 0.43% CuEq (incl. 74m @ 0.61% CuEq).

Ø  Drilling at Trivinio prospect intersected visible copper sulphide mineralisation in Hole 49 from 1412m to 1641m depth.  Assay results remain pending and further drill testing is in progress.

Ø  Aguinaga drilling building potential for second porphyry deposit at Cascabel, as SolGold continues drill testing of the 2 of 5 targets identified at Aguinaga.

Ø  Aguinaga Holes 1 and 2 assay results have thus far returned:

  • 218m @ 0.45% CuEq (incl. 122m @ 0.52% CuEq)
  • 58m @ 0.58% CuEq open at depth.  Final assay results pending.

Maiden resources at the Alpala deposit was published in January with Indicated and Inferred classifications totalling 1.08 Bt @ 0.68% CuEq (7.4 Mt CuEq) at 0.3% CuEq cut off, some 40% of which is in the Indicated category (by tonnage). Contained metal content totals  5.2 Mt Cu and 12.3 Moz Au, some 45% of which is within the Indicated category (by contained metal).

Solgold, which has $80m cash in the bank, says it has 84 exploration geologists on the ground over 400 Ecuadorean employees. Solgold is hoping to start a pre-feasibility study later in 2018.

SolGold owns 85% of Cascabel located 180km north of the capital Quito, with the remainder held by Cornerstone Capital Resources (CVE:CGP). Shares in TSX Venture‐listed Cornerstone also gained on Wednesday, for a market value of $130m.

Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining owns 14.5% in SolGold. Newcrest, the world’s sixth largest gold producer, put Craig Jones, the top exec at its giant Wafi-Golpu block caving project in Papua New Guinea, on the board of Solgold in March.