Exploration progress at SolGold plc's (LON:SOLG) Cascabel property in Ecuador has been marked this year, as regular updates have shown and underlined by the discovery of the latest prospect, named Moran.
Progress has not gone unnoticed by the market and shares have risen over 82% since January 18 to where they stand now at 2.975p each.
The group's flagship project covers 50 sq km and lies 180 km by road north of the capital city Quito on- the under‐explored northern section of the Andean copper belt, which is the same geological trend as some of the largest copper and gold finds.
The area hosts 48% of the world's copper production, and numerous Tier 1 global resource assets.
So far the firm has uncovered 11 orebody targets at the Cascabel site, along with high copper and gold grades, and the most recent discovery has been the Moran prospect.
The miner reckons the type and frequency of the finds at Cascabel point to a Porphyry style copper system. Lying deep underground, such systems have housed some of the world’s largest ever copper discoveries.
Alpala the most advanced target
Work so far in 2016 has mainly concentrated on the Alpala target, and where a maiden resource estimate is planned in the third quarter of 2016.
By the end of the year, the firm hopes to have completed an early stage mine and plant design and a scoping study.
At the end of last month (May), the firm revealed that the Alpala deposit was growing with each new hole and that the 17th had hit "strong" visible mineralisation from 641.3 metres to the then depth of 999.2 metres.
The hole also extended the high grade areas from the 3D models to the south west by 100 metres and upwards (shallower) by around 300 metres.
Earlier holes in the same target area had hit positive intersections, which included 318m at 0.39 % copper and 0.48 g/t gold from 16m, including 100m at a grade of 0.65% copper and 1.00 g/t gold from 222m.
Hole 12 had hit 1312m at 0.67 % copper and 0.63 g/t gold from 128m, including 576m at 1.03 % copper and 1.19 g/t gold from 844m.
Alpala South discoveries also cheer investors
Meanwhile, in April, the group told investors of another discovery of porphyry style copper gold mineralisation at Cascabel - 400m south of Alpala Creek, which pointed to a new target area at newly discovered Alpala South.
The firm is now carrying out detailed mailing and rock sampling over the whole of the Alpala South area and also the Hematite Hill area.
Indeed, the current focus is work at Alpala South, the Trevinio prospect, and the Aguinaga prospect where an infill deep augur drill programme is underway across the copper gold and moly anomalous areas.
Moran prospect could mean a resource boost
Significantly too, ongoing mapping and sampling has now identified an outcropping and visually copper mineralised porphyry system around 1.2 km north of the Alpala North West centre of the Alpala trend.
In this area, SolGold has also found, through 3D magnetic modelling, an anomaly at 350 metres depth.
The firm reckons this anomaly, along with extensions northwards and surface mineralisation could provide for 1,000Mt (metric tonnes) of resource on top of the Alpala deposit.
So 2016 has already been positive and busy for the firm, which certainly looks set to continue for the rest of the year.