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Big Picture - SolGold poised for next stages in exciting copper Cascabel development

SolGold is on the brink of a gear shift at its Cascabel project in Ecuador, as focus turns towards drilling out the resource.
Big Picture - SolGold poised for next stages in exciting copper Cascabel development

SolGold (LON:SOLG), the copper and gold specialist, is on the brink of a gear shift at its Cascabel project in Ecuador, as focus turns towards drilling out the resource.

From the outset, drill results from the Alpala target at the property have impressed the firm's geologists and suggested a world class copper porphyry - a type of deposit that can run as deep as it is wide - suited to open pit bulk mining for a long time.

More than four square kilometres have been identified as high grade targets and a one billion tonne target has long been touted.

A highlight has been a whopping 845 metre (m) intersection hit in January this year in hole 5, with grades of 0.39% copper and 0.24 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, which City broker SP Angel described as an unusually long intersection.

The firm is now eagerly awaiting first assays from hole 7, which lies 150 metres from hole 5, which bore witness to spectacular grades.

Both holes are in what's known as the 'central area' and results so far suggest  mineralisation also exists to the north west and south east targets - suggesting a potentially a larger extended  resource.

Cascabel's credentials in terms of location are not in doubt -  it sits in north-western Ecuador and is in an under-explored section of the richly endowed Andean Copper Belt, home to Ecuador’s world-class 982mln tonne Junin project and the Cobre Panama project, which has a three billion tonne reserve.

SolGold’s exploration manager Dr Bruce Rohrlach summed Cascabel's promise neatly in the last regulatory announcement: "At every step of the exploration process - from the early grass-roots phases through to the current drill discovery stage - Alpala has delivered results that meet the high exploration hurdles that we set.

"The repeated achievement of these required geological, geochemical and geophysical criteria at all stages of an extended exploration programme is common to the discovery path of many world class mineral deposits.

The next steps are to continue demonstrating lateral extension of the two significant copper-mineralised zones in Holes 5 and 7.

Last year, was undoubtedly one of huge change at SolGold. It hired new management and shifted focus to Cascabel and sidelined projects in Australia and also the Solomon Islands - hence changing the name from Solomon Gold.

The challenge now is to maintain the momentum.

So a maiden, or first resource at Cascabel, would be the next step for de-risking the project.

Rohrlach has told Proactive previously he believes it would require 18-25 holes at 200 metres spacing using a second drill rig.

Such a maiden resource estimate should see a step change in SolGold's valuation and many juniors would be likely to build on that success by looking to partner the project.

But SolGold's aim is to take the copper project as far as it can under its own steam and is confident of funding it to production.

Executive director Nick Mather has said the grade (Cascabel would be on the higher end of the grade curve for a porphyry deposit) and its proximity to infrastructure such as roads, power and the local port, make this project attractive to prospective debt funders.

“There is no reason why we couldn’t combine our own debt equity mix to develop this. We won’t rule out having partners. It is just not the aim,” Mather said.

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Article
October 10 2016

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