Source - RNS
RNS Number : 1054L
SolGold PLC
17 April 2018

17 April 2018

SolGold plc

("SolGold" or the "Company")


Cascabel Exploration Update

Further High-Grade Extensions at Alpala Copper-Gold Porphyry Deposit and Aguinaga Drilling Reveals Increasing Potential for Second Large Porphyry Deposit at Cascabel


The Board of SolGold (LSE and TSX code: SOLG) is pleased to provide an update on the drilling programs at Alpala and Aguinaga, at the Company's Cascabel project in Northern Ecuador.




Ø Drilling at Alpala continues to extend the high-grade mineralisation (which is expected to also extend the high grade resource) along the southwestern margin of the Alpala Central Deposit, as indicated by Hole 42, from which partial assay results have thus far returned 846m @ 1.02 % CuEq, including 504m @ 1.28 % CuEq, both open at depth and awaiting remaining assay results.

Ø Infill drilling within the high-grade core of the Alpala Central Deposit is expected to significantly increase the high-grade resource tonnage, as shown by Hole 43 (974m @ 0.71% CuEq, including 478m @ 1.02% CuEq), and Hole 41-D1, which has thus far intersected approximately 688m of visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 1003.8m depth (drilling continues and assay results pending).

Ø Extension drilling at Alpala Northwest continues to intersect strongly mineralised extensions, as indicated by Hole 37 (842m @ 0.44% CuEq), and Hole 37-D1, which has thus far intersected approximately 450.3m of abundant visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 1309.4m depth (drilling continues).

Ø Trivinio drill testing scheduled to commence within a week.

Ø Aguinaga first drill hole (AGD-18-001) confirms the potential for second large porphyry deposit, having intersected approximately 373.4m of porphyry style veining and visible chalcopyrite and mineralisation from 295.3m depth.

Ø Aguinaga second drill hole to test depth extensions under AGD-18-001.


References to figures and tables relate to the version of this release on the Company's website ( or visible in PDF format by clicking the link below:








Commenting on progress, CEO Nick Mather said: "The drill program is proceeding according to plan.  We are finding a lot more high grade intersections outside the current resource model for Alpala.  The takeaway is that extra high grade resource tonnes will have a significant and positive impact on value.  Allowing for this, and with what we believe to be a unique set of logistical advantages compared to many "high and dry" Chilean projects, increasing high grade mineralisation, the discovery at Aguinaga, and the increasing demand and price for copper and gold, the upside in this project is very exciting."


The Cascabel Project is located on the northern section of the prolific Andean Copper belt, renowned as the base for nearly half of the world's copper production.  The project area hosts mineralisation of Eocene age, the same age as numerous Tier 1 deposits along the Andean Copper Belt in Chile and Peru to the south.  The project base is located at Rocafuerte in northern Ecuador, approximately three hours drive north of Quito, close to water, power supply and Pacific ports (Figure 1).  Having fulfilled its earn in requirements, SolGold is a registered shareholder with an unencumbered legal and beneficial 85% interest in ENSA (Exploraciones Novomining S.A.) which holds 100% of the Cascabel tenement covering approximately 50km2.


Approximately 100,000m of diamond drilling has been completed on the project to date.  Currently, 12 drill rigs are active on site, with 11 rigs drilling on the Alpala cluster (Figure 2), and one drilling at the Aguinaga prospect (Figure 3).  The Cascabel drill program for 2018 comprises over 120,000m of planned drilling focussing on extending and infilling the Alpala Resource, as well as further drill testing of the Aguinaga prospect.  Numerous other untested targets remain, namely at Trivinio, Moran, Cristal, Tandayama-America and Chinambicito, some of which will also be drilled in 2018.


Drill testing of the Trivinio target is scheduled to commence within a week with Hole 54, and is further supported by the proximity of the mineralisation encountered in Holes 37 and 37D1.


Alpala Targeted Resource Additions


Assay results from the initial 53,616m of drilling at Alpala were incorporated into the Alpala maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) completed in December 2017 and announced on 3 January 2018.  At least 45,500m of further drilling has been completed at Alpala since the development of the maiden MRE, and the Company is optimistic that such drilling will result in significant resource growth when incorporated into a revised MRE.  Assays lag drilling by approximately 4 weeks and approximately 11,000 metres of drill holes have assays currently pending.  All historical and current assay results have been provided to the Company by ALS Laboratories in Lima, Peru.


Highlights from recent assayed drilling results include:

Ø Hole 42 partial assay results:  846m @ 1.02 % CuEq, including 504m @ 1.28 % CuEq, both open at depth and awaiting remaining assay results.

Ø Hole 43 final assay results:  974m @ 0.71% CuEq, including 478m @ 1.02 % CuEq.

Ø Hole 37 final assay results:  842m @ 0.44% CuEq.


Highlights of recent assay results predicted to add significantly to the existing December 2017 Alpala Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) are summarised in Table 1, following Figure 3 below.


Highlights of further drill intersections of visible copper sulphide mineralisation from recent drilling, which await assay results, include:

Targets increasing high-grade resource at Alpala Central

Ø Hole 41-D1 (Alpala Central):  688m of visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 1003.8m depth, including intense visible mineralisation (open at depth and drilling continues).

Ø Hole 42-D2 (Alpala Central): 68m of intense visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 311.4m depth (open at depth as drilling continues).

Ø Hole 48 (Alpala Central): 323m of strong visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 526.6m depth (open at depth as drilling continues).


Targets extending the resource northwest and north towards Trivinio

Ø Hole 49 (Alpala Northwest):  75m of intense visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from 880.8m depth (open at depth as drilling continues).

Ø Hole 37-D1 (Alpala Northwest):  450.3m of visible chalcopyrite mineralisation, including abundant visible mineralisation from 1309.4m depth (open at depth as drilling continues).

Ø Hole 36-D1 (Alpala Northwest):  577m (open at depth) of visual mineralisation from 1646m depth.


SolGold geologists are observing high grade (assayed) and highly mineralised extensions (currently not assayed) from drill core located outside of the current inferred and indicated resource blocks at Alpala Northwest and along the southwestern margin of the Alpala Deposit trend.  Together with current infill drilling within the Alpala Central high-grade core, this is predicted to significantly increase high-grade resource tonnage (Figure  4).


Grade and tonnage curves supplied independently by SRK Consulting as part of the MRE, indicate potential for an initial 5-year high grade resource of 120Mt at 1.82% CuEq, as the Company continues to build upon its larger high grade core of 220Mt @ 1.44% CuEq, purported to lead into extraction of the larger and still growing >1 Bt, 40Moz AuEq resource long term (Figure 5).


Aguinaga Drilling Program


Drill hole 1 at Aguinaga was completed at 1000.3m depth on 11 March 2018, having intersected approximately 373m of porphyry-style veins, visible chalcopyrite and trace molybdenite and bornite mineralisation from 295.3m depth.  Assay results for this hole remain pending.  Selected examples of mineralisation occurring in Aguinaga drill hole 1 are shown in Figure 6.


The mineralisation intersected in Hole 1 at Aguinaga is similar to that discovered at surface which lies about 300m to 400m in elevation above the mineralisation in the drill hole.  This surface mineralisation returned an open-ended, rock-saw channel sample result of 9.0m @ 1.51% CuEq (1.01% Cu, 0.79 g/t Au).


SolGold geologists believe that the first drill hole at Aguinaga confirms the potential for a second large porphyry deposit at Cascabel, demonstrating a steeply-dipping, mineralising system that exceeds 320m in width, based on visual results of Hole 1 and surface exposures (Figure 7). 


The abundance of porphyry-type quartz veins, visual estimations of volume-percent chalcopyrite and the chalcopyrite-pyrite ratio increase significantly within the > 320m wide interval of strong visual mineralisation discovered in Hole 1.  SolGold does not believe that the core of the system has yet been encountered and further drilling will test depth extensions underneath Hole 1, with further targets identified by geophysical and geochemical modelling also remaining untested.


The continuation of the successful drilling campaign at Alpala has delayed the redeployment of a second drill rig to the Aguinaga site, but this is expected to take place once a suitable rig becomes available.


Mature Satellite Targets


SolGold has drill tested 8 of 15 copper-gold targets delineated within the 50km2 tenement (Figure 8), with the Alpala Porphyry Cluster being the primary focus to date.  Untested satellite targets at Trivinio, Moran and Tandayama-America have matured to drill ready status with drill testing planned for 2018.  Drill targeting studies are currently underway for satellite targets at Chinambicito, Alpala South, Parambas and Cristal, all expected to mature to drill ready status later in 2018.


Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure


Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.


Qualified Person:


Information in this report relating to the exploration results is based on data reviewed by Mr Jason Ward ((CP) B.Sc. Geol.), Exploration Manager Global of the Company.  Mr Ward is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, holds the designation MAusIMM (CP), and has in excess of 20 years' experience in mineral exploration and is a Qualified Person for the purposes of the relevant LSE and TSX Rules.  Mr Ward consents to the inclusion of the information in the form and context in which it appears.


By order of the Board

Karl Schlobohm

Company Secretary



Mr Nicholas Mather                                                                                       Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0665

SolGold Plc (Chief Executive Officer)                                                             +61 (0) 417 880 448

[email protected].au


Mr Karl Schlobohm                                                                                         Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0661

SolGold Plc (Company Secretary)

[email protected]


Mr Ewan Leggat / Mr Richard Morrison                                                Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP (Broker)

[email protected] 


Follow us on twitter @SolGold_plc





SolGold is a Brisbane, Australia based, dual LSE and TSXlisted (SOLG on both exchanges) copper gold exploration and future development company with assets in Ecuador, Solomon Islands and Australia.  SolGold's primary objective is to discover and define worldclass coppergold deposits.  The Board and Management Team have substantial vested interests in the success of the Company as shareholders as well as strong track records in the areas of exploration, mine appraisal and development, investment, finance and law.  SolGold's experience is augmented by state of the art geophysical and modelling techniques, and the guidance of porphyry copper and gold expert Dr Steve Garwin.


In October 2017, at the Mines and Money Americas Conference in Toronto, SolGold's Nicholas Mather won the award for the CEO of the Year - Exploration, Latin America.  SolGold won the Exploration Award for Latin America, and Ecuador won the Country Award for Latin America.  Each party then duly won the 2017 award for each respective category on a global basis at London Mines and Money on 30 November 2017.


The Company announced USD54m in capital raisings in September 2016 involving Maxit Capital LP, Newcrest International Ltd and DGR Global Ltd, and a USD41.2m raising in June of 2017 largely from Newcrest International with USD1.2m raised from Ecuadorean investors.  These raisings were undertaken at substantial premiums to previous raisings.  In November 2017 SolGold raised a further £45m at 25p per share, placed with institutions and Newcrest pursuant to their anti-dilution rights.  SolGold currently has circa USD85m in available cash to continue the exploration and appraisal of its flagship Cascabel Project, and with which to conduct regional exploration programs on its 73 other 100%-owned projects in its wholly owned subsidiary companies.


Mr Craig Jones joined the SolGold Board on 3 March 2017, nominated to the Board of SolGold by Newcrest Mining, now a 14.54% shareholder in SolGold.  Mr Jones is a Mechanical Engineer and is currently the Executive General Manager Wafi-Golpu (Newcrest-Harmony Joint Venture).  He has held various senior management and executive roles within the Newcrest Group, including General Manager Projects, General Manager Cadia Valley Operations, Executive General Manager Projects and Asset Management, Executive General Manager Australian and Indonesian Operations, Executive General Manager Australian Operations and Projects, and Executive General Manager Cadia and Morobe Mining Joint Venture.  Prior to joining Newcrest, Mr Jones worked for Rio Tinto.


Cascabel, SolGold's 85% owned "World Class" (refer flagship coppergold porphyry project, is located in northern Ecuador on the underexplored northern section of the richly endowed Andean Copper Belt.  Having fulfilled its earning requirements, SolGold is a registered shareholder with an unencumbered legal and beneficial 85% interest in ENSA (Exploraciones Novomining S.A.) and approximately 5% of TSXVlisted Cornerstone Capital Resources ("Cornerstone"), which holds the remaining 15% of ENSA, the Ecuadorian registered company which holds 100% of the Cascabel concession.  Subject to the terms of existing agreements, Cornerstone is debt financed by SolGold for its share of costs to completion of a Feasibility Study.


In terms of repayment, SolGold shall receive 90% of Cornerstone's share of earnings or dividends from ENSA or the Tenement to which Cornerstone would otherwise be entitled until such time as the amounts so received equal the aggregate amount of expenditures incurred by SolGold that would have otherwise been payable by Cornerstone, plus interest thereon from the dates such expenditures were incurred at a rate per annum equal to LIBOR plus 2 per cent until such time as SolGold is fully reimbursed.


The investments by Newcrest for 14.54% of SolGold endorses Ecuador as an exploration and mining destination, the management team at SolGold, the dimension, size and scale of the growing Alpala Deposit, and the prospectivity of Cascabel and its multiple targets.  The gold endowment, location, infrastructure, and logistics are important competitive advantages offered by the project.  Cascabel is characterised by fifteen (15) identified targets, "World Class" drilling intersections over 1km in length at potentially economic grades, and high copper and gold grades in richer sections, as well as logistic advantages in location, elevation, water supply, proximity to roads, port and power services; and a progressive legislative approach to resource development in Ecuador.


To date SolGold has completed geological mapping, soil sampling, rock saw channel sampling, geochemical and spectral alteration mapping over 25km2, along with an additional 9km2 of Induced Polarisation and 14km2 Magnetotelluric "Orion" surveys over the Alpala cluster and other targets at Aguinaga, Parambas, Tandayama-America, Moran and Chinambicito.


SolGold has completed over 100,000m of drilling and expended over USD100M in Ecuador, which includes Cascabel exploration, regional exploration, corporate costs and investments into Cornerstone.  This has been accomplished with a workforce of up to 260 Ecuadorean workers and geoscientists, and 6 expatriate Australian geoscientists.  The results of all holes drilled and assayed to date have produced some of the greatest drill hole intercepts in porphyry copper-gold exploration history, as indicated by Hole 12 (CSD-16-012) returning 1560m grading 0.59% copper and 0.54 g/t gold including, 1044m grading 0.74% copper and 0.54 g/t gold.  Intensive diamond drilling is planned for the next 12 months with up to 12 drill rigs operational.


SolGold has drill tested 8 of 15 copper-gold targets delineated in the 50km2 tenement with a focus on Alpala.  Further drill testing at Alpala will focus on:

·      Extending and infilling the Alpala Central area.

·      Expanding the system at Alpala Northwest and Trivinio.

·      Testing extensions of the system at Alpala Southeast.

·      Testing geochemical and magnetic targets at Alpala West and Carmen.


The Alpala deposit is open in multiple directions and the mineralised corridor marked for drill testing of the greater Alpala cluster occurs over a 2.2km strike length from Trivinio in the northwest to Cristal in the southeast.  The mineralised corridor is known to be prospective over up to 800m width.  A number of targets are scheduled for testing during 2018, subject to ongoing technical assessment, and completion of ground magnetic modelling and Spartan Orion deep IP surveys.


The Company and its external consultants prepared an initial mineral resource estimate at the Cascabel Project in December 2017.  Results are summarised in Table B within the Cautionary Statement.  The Mineral Resource Estimate was compiled in mid-December 2017 based on 53,616m of drilling.  That meterage represents approximately 54% of the 100,000m metres currently drilled on the project.   There remains strong potential for further growth from more recent drilling results, and continued rapid growth of the deposit.


The Company is currently planning further metallurgical testing and completion of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment and Pre-Feasibility Studies at Cascabel.  SolGold is investigating both high tonnage open cut and underground block caving operations, as well as a high grade / low tonnage initial underground development towards the economic development of the copper gold deposit/s at Cascabel.


Drill hole intercepts have been updated to reflect current commodity prices, using a data aggregation method, defined by copper equivalent cut-off grades and reported with up to 10m internal dilution, excluding bridging to a single sample.  Copper equivalent grades are calculated using a gold conversion factor of 0.63, determined using an updated copper price of USD3.00/pound and an updated gold price of USD1300/ounce.  True widths of down hole intersections are estimated to be approximately 25-50%.


Following a comprehensive review of the geology and prospectivity of Ecuador, SolGold and its subsidiaries have several applications for additional exploration licences in Ecuador over a number of promising porphyry copper gold targets throughout the Country.


SolGold, through its 4 subsidiary companies, has 100% ownership of extensive concession areas throughout Ecuador.  Each subsidiary company has technical teams, led by experienced senior geologists, on the ground prospecting granted tenements and collecting baseline data, whilst regional geophysics surveys are being planned.  Significant copper occurrences have been identified at numerous projects to date, including La Hueca, Machos, Rio Armarillo, Sharug, Porvenir and Timbara.


In Queensland, Australia the Company is evaluating the future exploration plans for the Mt Perry, Rannes and Normanby projects, with drill testing of the Normanby project planned for the coming quarter.  Joint venture agreements are being investigated for a joint venture partner to commit funds and carry out exploration to earn an interest in the tenements.


SolGold retains interests in its original theatre of operations, Solomon Islands in the South West Pacific, where the Kuma prospect on the island of Guadalcanal exhibits surface lithocap characteristics which are traditionally indicative of a large metal rich copper gold intrusive porphyry system. 


SolGold intends in the future to apply intellectual property and experience developed in Ecuador to target additional "World Class" copper gold porphyries at Kuma and other targets in Ecuador and the Solomon Islands.


SolGold is based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  The Company is listed on the LSE and TSX, with both exchanges using the ticker code: SOLG, and currently has on issue a total of 1,696,245,686 fully-paid ordinary shares, 31,795,884 share options exercisable at 28p; 9,795,884 share options exercisable at 14p and 46,762,000 share options exercisable at 60p.




News releases, presentations and public commentary made by SolGold plc (the "Company") and its Officers may contain certain statements and expressions of belief, expectation or opinion which are forward looking statements, and which relate, inter alia, to interpretations of exploration results to date and the Company's proposed strategy, plans and objectives or to the expectations or intentions of the Company's Directors.  Such forward-looking and interpretative statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the control of the Company that could cause the actual performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from such interpretations and forward-looking statements. 




Accordingly, the reader should not rely on any interpretations or forward-looking statements; and save as required by the exchange rules of the TSX and LSE or by applicable laws, the Company does not accept any obligation to disseminate any updates or revisions to such interpretations or forward-looking statements.  The Company may reinterpret results to date as the status of its assets and projects changes with time expenditure, metals prices and other affecting circumstances.


This release may contain "forward‑looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation.  Forward‑looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the Company's plans for developing its properties.  Generally, forward‑looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved".  Forward‑looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward‑looking information, including but not limited to: transaction risks; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; future prices of mineral prices; accidents, labour disputes and shortages and other risks of the mining industry.  Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.  There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward‑looking information.  The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.


The Company and its officers do not endorse, or reject or otherwise comment on the conclusions, interpretations or views expressed in press articles or third-party analysis, and where possible aims to circulate all available material on its website.


The Company recognises that the term "World Class" is subjective and for the purpose of the Company's projects the Company considers the drilling results at the growing Alpala Porphyry Copper Gold Deposit at its Cascabel Project to represent intersections of a "World Class" deposit.  The Company considers that "World Class" deposits are rare, very large, long life, low cost, and are responsible for approximately half of total global metals production. 


"World Class" deposits are generally accepted as deposits of a size and quality that create multiple expansion opportunities, and have or are likely to demonstrate robust economics that ensure development irrespective of position within the global commodity cycles, or whether or not the deposit has been fully drilled out, or a feasibility study completed.


Standards drawn from industry experts (1) Singer and Menzie, 2010; (2) Schodde, 2006; (3) Schodde and Hronsky, 2006; (4) Singer, 1995; (5) Laznicka, 2010) have characterised "World Class" deposits at prevailing commodity prices. The relevant criteria for "World Class" deposits, adjusted to current long run commodity prices, are considered to be those holding or likely to hold more than 5 million tonnes of copper and/or more than 6 million ounces of gold with a modelled net present value of greater than USD 1 Billion.


The Company and its external consultants prepared an initial mineral resource estimate at the Cascabel Project in December 2017. Results are summarised in Table B attached.


The Mineral Resource Estimate was compiled in mid-December 2017 based on 53,616m of drilling.  That meterage represents approximately 54% of 100,000m metres currently drilled on the project.  There remains strong potential for further growth from more recent drilling results, and continue rapid growth of the deposit.


Any development or mining potential for the project remains speculative.


On the basis of the drilling results to date and the results of the Alpala Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, the reference to the Cascabel Project as "World Class" (or "Tier 1") is considered to be appropriate. Examples of global copper and gold discoveries since 2006 that are generally considered to be "World Class" are summarised in Table A.


References cited in the text:

1.      Singer, D.A. and Menzie, W.D., 2010. Quantitative Mineral Resource Assessments: An Integrated Approach. Oxford University Press Inc.

2.      Schodde, R., 2006. What do we mean by a world class deposit? And why are they special. Presentation. AMEC Conference, Perth.

3.      Schodde, R and Hronsky, J.M.A, 2006. The Role of World-Class Mines in Wealth Creation. Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists Volume 12.

4.      Singer, D.A., 1995, World-class base and precious metal deposits-a quantitative analysis: Economic Geology, v. 90, no.1, p. 88-104.

5.      Laznicka, P., 2010. Giant Metallic Deposits: Future Sources of Industrial Metal, Second Edition. Springer-Verlag Heidelberg.


Table A:  Tier 1 global copper and gold discoveries since 2006. This table does not purport to be exhaustive exclusive or definitive.








Contained Metal

Cu (%)

Au (g/t)

CuEq (%)

Cu (Mt)

Au (Moz)

CuEq (Mt)

>1.1% CuEq

















0.9 - 1.1% CuEq

















0.3 - 0.9% CuEq

















Total >0.3% CuEq


















 Table B: Alpala Mineral Resource statement as of 18 December 2017



·          Mr. Martin Pittuck, MSc, CEng, MIMMM, is responsible for this Mineral Resource estimate and is an "independent qualified person" as such term is defined in NI 43-101.

·          The Mineral Resource is reported using a cut-off grade of 0.3% copper equivalent calculated using [copper grade (%)] + [gold grade (g/t) x 0.6] based on a copper price of US$2.8/lb and gold price of US$1,160/oz.

·          The Mineral Resource is considered to have reasonable potential for eventual economic extraction by underground mass mining such as block caving.

·          Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.

·          The statement uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014).

·          The MRE is reported on 100 percent basis.

·          Values given in the table have been rounded, apparent calculation errors resulting from this are not considered to be material.

·          The effective date for the Mineral Resource statement is 18th December 2017.

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