SolGold PLC - Regional Exploration - Porvenir Drilling Update
("SolGold" or the "Company")
SolGold First Drill Hole at Porvenir Project Discovers New Highly Mineralised Copper-Gold Porphyry System.
The Board of SolGold (LSE & TSX: SOLG) is pleased to provide an update on its wholly owned Porvenir Project, held by Green Rock Resources S.A, a 100% owned and unencumbered subsidiary of SolGold.
Ø PDH-20-001, the first drill hole at the Porvenir, at Cacharposa (formerly Target 15), has so far intersected over 500m of visual copper sulphide mineralisation, hosted by potassium-rich intrusions, as the hole continues towards a planned depth of at least 700m.
Ø The dominant copper sulphide mineral observed to date is chalcopyrite, an important ore-forming copper sulphide mineral containing 34.5% copper. Chalcopyrite mineralisation has been observed from 15.9m to the current depth of 525.3m. Detailed core logging, to a depth of 491.0m, shows chalcopyrite percentages of up to an estimated 6.0 % by volume with associated porphyry style total quartz vein abundance of up to a measured 11.7 % by volume.
Ø Geological and rock-alteration vectors drawn from surface rock-saw and drill core observations, including an increasing chalcopyrite to pyrite ratio with depth, suggest that more intense mineralisation can be reasonably expected deeper in the system. Globally significant examples of copper-gold porphyry systems hosted by potassium-rich intrusions are numerous.
Ø PDH-20-001 is testing below outcropping surface mineralisation, at Cacharposa Target (formerly Target 15), that returned a highly prospective open-ended rock-saw channel assay result in
Ø Mineralisation in
Ø Whilst mineralisation measured from PDH-20-001 is highly encouraging, the observations are of a preliminary nature. The visual mineralization observed has not yet been assayed, and the intensity of visual mineralisation should not be used to estimate grade or commercial viability at this stage. Assay results are expected to take not less than 3 weeks from submission.
References to figures relate to the version visible in PDF format by clicking the link below:
Commenting on the mineralisation intersected so far at Cacharposa, Technical Services Manager,
"The regional exploration teams are doing great work in these challenging times by applying experiences gained at SolGold's 85% owned Alpala Deposit, which holds 9.9 Mt Cu, 21.7
"The geology team interpret that the combined presence of visual epidote veining, molybdenum mineralisation and potassic K-feldspar-biotite-magnetite alteration indicate that PDH-20-001 hole is drilling across the upper periphery of the core of this porphyry copper-gold system. These are characteristic features of the upper periphery of the core of SolGold's Alpala Deposit and many porphyry copper-gold systems globally. At Cacharposa, this interpretation illustrates good correlation with 3D magnetic- and geochemical-models. Vectors observed in drill core, including an increasing chalcopyrite to pyrite ratio, indicate that even more intense mineralisation seems likely deeper down, and we expect to fully intersect the core of the system through subsequent deeper drilling. These kinds of deposits often include a higher-grade core containing bornite, and we believe there is strong potential for a large porphyry copper-gold deposit to be hidden at or near the surface at Cacharposa."
"Cacharposa also exhibits classic porphyry metal- and hydrothermal alteration-zoning at surface with coincident Cu, Mo, Au, Mn, and high Cu-Zn ratio anomalies nested within a classic magnetic high surrounded by an annular magnetic low. Geological mapping and spectral mineralogy data obtained from soil samples show a central potassic alteration zone surrounded by an intermediate argillic halo which is typical of many porphyry copper-gold deposits."
"We are very encouraged by the visible mineralisation and are busy scaling up the drilling fleet to six rigs as quickly as COVID19 restrictions allow. The work program will comprise multiple parallel work streams, employing the exploration blueprint used at Alpala and well as pre-emptively launching first stage geotechnical and metallurgical data capture programs, and the collection of baseline social and environmental data."
Commenting on the copper-gold potential of Cacharposa at Porvenir, Dr
"This porphyry system is characterized by a robust geological setting, geochemical expression and magnetic signature that compares favourably to large, economic and gold-rich porphyry copper systems elsewhere. The initial mineralisation observed in the first drill hole, to date, illustrates the downward continuation of chalcopyrite mineralisation discovered in
"SolGold's pipeline of projects throughout
"The Cacharposa discovery at Porvenir demonstrates the critical importance of regional exploration to SolGold's corporate strategy and to its shareholders. It justifies SolGold's objective to deliver further Tier 1 discoveries several times over, across SolGold's unique and extensive exploration pipeline of thirteen other 100% owned targets. These targets are covered by granted tenure, throughout the 700km length of three parallel and under-explored metallogenic copper-gold belts in the Ecuadorean sector of the prolific Andean Copper Belt.
"Clearly our blueprint of targeting and applying the Alpala geological, exploration and operational blueprint on a string of these targets is working. Progress at Porvenir will be a lot quicker and more efficient than at Alpala given our experience to date. We will apply the same blueprint to all of our targets. Delivery of SolGold's strategy will be transformational for
SolGold is continuing to pursue its strategy to become a tier 1 copper producing company through aggressive exploration of its extensive tenement portfolio in
The Porvenir Project is in
Drilling commenced at the Cacharposa Target (Cacharposa), within the Porvenir Project area on
Visible copper sulphide mineralisation has been observed from 15.9m to the current depth of 525.3m. The dominant copper sulphide mineral observed to date is chalcopyrite, an important ore-forming copper sulphide mineral containing 34.5% copper. Pyrite and molybdenite are also common.
Detailed core logging, to a depth of 491.0m, shows chalcopyrite percentages of up to a visually estimated 6.0 % by volume with associated porphyry-style total quartz vein abundance of up to a measured 11.7 % by volume.
Geological and rock-alteration vectors drawn from surface rock-saw and drill core observations, including an increasing chalcopyrite to pyrite ratio with depth beneath the discovery outcrop, suggest that more intense copper mineralisation can be reasonably expected deeper in the system.
Porphyry copper and gold deposits, hosted by potassium-rich intrusions, can often contain bornite in the core of the system and SolGold's program will vector towards potential higher-grade, bornite-bearing, core zones at Cacharposa as further drilling progresses.
PDH-20-001 is testing below outcropping surface mineralisation in
The mineralisation discovered at Cacharposa is part of a 1700m long, northerly-trending mineralised corridor, up to 1000m wide (Figure 2). The mineralisation style, and geophysical and geochemical footprints, in conjunction with the 3D MVI magnetic modelling and 3D geochemical modelling at Cacharposa are consistent with surface exposure of a well-preserved porphyry copper-gold system with scope for depth continuation of more than 600m (Figure 3).
The exposed mineralisation in
SolGold's surface mapping, pitting and trenching programs are underway to identify additional mineralised outcrops underneath vegetation and soil cover outside the
Field studies of the porphyry-related vein types and paragenesis (relative timing) at Cacharposa are ongoing. Initial work indicates a sequential vein development typical of many significant porphyry copper-gold systems, such as SolGold's 85% owned Tier 1 Alpala porphyry copper-gold deposit in
Chalcopyrite mineralisation in PDH-20-001 occurs with sericite-chlorite alteration associated with the partial oxidation of magnetite to hematite. This "hematite dusting" enhances the pink- to reddish-colour of the potassium-feldspar in the monzonite host intrusion. This style of oxidation is typical in the upper levels of several well-mineralised, porphyry copper-gold deposits globally.
Drill core exhibits a relatively high fracture abundance, a common feature of strongly mineralised copper-gold porphyry systems. Multiple phases of veining are observed with "B1-type" quartz-magnetite-chalcopyrite veins overprinted by "B2-type" quartz-chalcopyrite-pyrite veining, which in turn are overprinted by "C-type" chalcopyrite veins and veinlets, and later "D-type" pyrite veins and veinlets with sericite halos. These vein styles are typical of many major porphyry copper-gold deposits, including SolGold's flagship Alpala Deposit. This vein terminology is modified from the Gustafson and Hunt (1975) published porphyry vein paragenesis and nomenclature (Gustafson, L.B. and Hunt, J.P. (1975) The Porphyry Copper Deposit at
Selected examples of mineralisation encountered in PDH-20-001 so far are shown in Figures 4 to 11.
Hydrothermal alteration interpretation compiled from geological mapping and spectral mineralogy data of soil samples indicate that the Cacharposa porphyry system is characterised by a central zone of potassic alteration (K-feldspar - biotite - magnetite) that is overprinted by intermediate argillic alteration (chlorite - sericite - clay), which is associated with higher copper and gold grades in the vicinity of the discovery outcrop in
The Cacharposa target is characterised by coincident Cu, Mo, Au and Cu:Zn soil anomalies that lie central to a magnetic high and zone of Mn-depletion in soil (Figure 13). These styles of ground RTP magnetics and geochemical signatures at Cacharposa are characteristic of porphyry copper and copper-gold deposits globally.
The size and strength of geochemical anomalies and the zoning of the hydrothermal alteration assemblages at Cacharposa are inferred to indicate a well-preserved porphyry copper-gold system that extends from surface and beyond the current depth of drilling, to more than 600m below surface.
Planning and logistical work is underway to ramp up drilling by mobilising an additional five drill rigs to site as quickly as COVID19 restrictions allow.
While visual measurements and observations of drill core are extremely encouraging and SolGold believe provide initial validation of the prospectivity of Cacharposa at Porvenir, readers are strongly cautioned that the information in this press release is of a preliminary nature and the visual mineralization observed has not yet been assayed. The intensity of visual mineralisation should not be used to estimate grade or commercial viability at this stage.
Figure 1: Location plan showing Porvenir Project in southern
Figure 2: Cacharposa Mineralised Corridor plan view, showing the Cacharposa Target (formerly Target 15) with geology and coincident soil gold, copper, and molybdenum anomalies. The location of the discovery outcrops in are shown in
Figure 3: PDH-20-001 cross-section slice looking north-northeast (window thickness 100m). Three-dimensional magnetic (MVI) modelling and geochemical modelling show coincidence with surface soil Cu:Zn anomaly and suggest that mineralisation extends at least 600m below surface. The combined presence of visual epidote veining, molybdenum mineralisation and potassic K-feldspar-biotite-magnetite alteration suggest that PDH-20-001 hole is drilling across the upper periphery of the core of this porphyry copper-gold system. These are characteristic features of the upper periphery of the core of SolGold's Alpala Deposit and many porphyry copper-gold systems globally. The mineralisation and hydrothermal alteration intersected so far in PDH-20-001 shows good correlation between down hole geology and 3D magnetic- and geochemical-models. The current hole path is shown in red with planned drill hole paths shown in green. These future drill-holes may exceed the planned lengths should mineralization continue at depth.
Figure 4: Selected drill-core examples from 0- 100m. "C-type" chalcopyrite veining overprinting "B1-type" quartz-magnetite-chalcopyrite veins and "B2-type" quartz-chalcopyrite-pyrite veins with associated sericite-chlorite alteration (Top and Middle). The bottom photograph shows chalcopyrite and quartz veinlets hosted in pinkish monzonite, in part caused by the conversion of magnetite to hematite ("hematite dusting").
Figure 5: Selected drill-core examples from 100- 150m. "B1-type" quartz-magnetite-chalcopyrite veins overprinted by "C-type" chalcopyrite veins and veinlets with associated intermediate argillic sericite-chlorite-chalcopyrite-pyrite alteration and coeval "hematite dusting" (Top and Middle). Magnified (x 2.5) image of a "B1-type" quartz-magnetite-chalcopyrite vein (Bottom).
Figure 6: Selected drill-core examples from 150- 250m. Disseminated chalcopyrite evident at core breaks (Top). "B1-type" quartz-magnetite-chalcopyrite veins overprinted by "C-type" chalcopyrite veins and veinlets with associated sericite-chlorite-chalcopyrite-pyrite alteration and "hematite dusting" (Middle). The bottom photograph shows epidote veins that crosscut earlier "B-type" quartz veins.
Figure 7: Selected drill-core examples from 250- 290m. Disseminated and vein-controlled chalcopyrite, and "B-type" quartz veins hosted by "hematite-dusted" monzonite. Visual estimates of abundance in this interval indicate about 3.0% by volume chalcopyrite and 4.0% by volume "B-type" quartz veins.
Figure 8: Selected drill-core examples from 290-320m. Disseminated and vein-controlled chalcopyrite, and "B-type" quartz veins hosted by "hematite-dusted" monzonite, including veins up to 1.5cm thick containing massive chalcopyrite mineralisation. Visual estimates of abundance in this interval indicate approximately 2.5% by-volume chalcopyrite and 3.5% by volume- "B-type" quartz veins.
Figure 9: Selected drill-core examples from 320-400m. Disseminated and vein-controlled chalcopyrite, with "B-type" quartz-chalcopyrite veins, including veins up to 1.5cm thick contain massive chalcopyrite.
Figure 10: Selected drill-core examples from 400-450m. Disseminated and vein-controlled chalcopyrite, with "B-type" quartz-chalcopyrite-magnetite veins overprinted by later "C-type" chalcopyrite veins and veinlets. Visual estimates of abundance in this interval indicate about 2.5 volume-percent chalcopyrite and 2.0 volume-percent "B-type" quartz veins.
Figure 11: Selected drill-core examples from 450-500m. Disseminated and vein-controlled chalcopyrite, with "B-type" quartz-chalcopyrite veins overprinted by later "C-type" chalcopyrite veins and veinlets.
Figure 12: Hydrothermal alteration compiled from geological mapping of streams and interpretation of Terraspec4 (ASD) analysis of soil samples.
Figure 13: Ground reduced-to-the-pole (RTP) magnetics and geochemical signatures at Cacharposa are characteristic of global porphyry copper and copper-gold deposits. The RTP magnetics exhibit a central magnetic high surrounded by an annular magnetic low (Top Left). Soil Molybdenum geochemistry shows a broad high nested within the magnetic feature (Top Centre) and exhibits good inverse correlation with soil Manganese (Top Right). The coincidence of soil Copper, Gold and Cu:Zn geochemical anomalies (Bottom Left, Centre and Right) are classic signatures of porphyry copper-gold deposits.
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.
Information in this report relating to the exploration results is based on data reviewed by Mr
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SolGold is a leading resources company focussed on the discovery, definition and development of world-class copper and gold deposits. In 2018, SolGold's management team was recognised by the "Mines and Money" Forum as an example of excellence in the industry and continues to strive to deliver objectives efficiently and in the interests of shareholders. SolGold is the largest and most active concession holder in
The Company operates with transparency and in accordance with international best practices. SolGold is committed to delivering value to its shareholders, while simultaneously providing economic and social benefits to impacted communities, fostering a healthy and safe workplace and minimizing the environmental impact.
SolGold employs a staff of over 700 employees of whom 98% are Ecuadorean. This is expected to grow as the operations expand at Alpala, and in
About Cascabel and Alpala
The Alpala deposit is the main target in the Cascabel concession, located on the northern section of the heavily endowed Andean Copper Belt, the entirety of which is 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
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 concession covering approximately 50km2. The junior equity owner in ENSA is required to repay 15% of costs since SolGold's earn in was completed, from 90% of its share of distribution of earnings or dividends from ENSA or the Cascabel concession. It is also required to contribute to development or be diluted, and if its interest falls below 10%, it shall reduce to a 0.5% NSR royalty which SolGold may acquire for
Advancing Alpala towards development
The resource at the Alpala deposit contains a high-grade core which will be targeted to facilitate early cashflows and an accelerated payback of initial capital. SolGold is currently progressing its Pre-Feasibility Study and is fully funded through to development decision following the Net Smelter Royalty Financing with Franco-Nevada Corporation for
SolGold is currently assessing financing options available to the Company for the development of the Alpala mine following completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study.
SolGold is using its successful and cost-efficient blueprint established at Alpala, and Cascabel generally, to explore for additional world class copper and gold projects across
The Company wholly owns four other subsidiaries active throughout the country that are now focussed on thirteen high priority gold and copper resource targets, several of which the Company believes have the potential, subject to resource definition and feasibility, to be developed in close succession or even on a more accelerated basis compared to Alpala.
SolGold is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (LSE/TSX: SOLG). The Company has on issue a total of 2,072,213,495 fully-paid ordinary shares and 113,175,000 share options.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control on Sample Collection, Security and Assaying
SolGold operates according to its rigorous Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) protocol, which is consistent with industry best practices.
Primary sample collection involves secure transport from SolGold's concessions in
Samples are prepared and analysed using 100g 4-Acid digest ICP with MS finish for 48 elements on a 0.25g aliquot (ME-MS61). Laboratory performance is routinely monitored using umpire assays, check batches and inter-laboratory comparisons between ALS certified laboratory in
In order to monitor the ongoing quality of its analytical database, SolGold's QA/QC protocol encompasses standard sampling methodologies, including the insertion of certified powder blanks, coarse chip blanks, standards, pulp duplicates and field duplicates. The blanks and standards are Certified Reference Materials supplied by Ore Research and Exploration,
SolGold's QA/QC protocol also monitors the ongoing quality of its analytical database. The Company's protocol involves Independent data validation of the digital analytical database including search for sample overlaps, duplicate or absent samples as well as anomalous assay and survey results. These are routinely performed ahead of Mineral Resource Estimates and Feasibility Studies. No material QA/QC issues have been identified with respect to sample collection, security and assaying.
Reviews of the sample preparation, chain of custody, data security procedures and assaying methods used by SolGold confirm that they are consistent with industry best practices and all results stated in this announcement have passed SolGold's QA/QC protocol.
The data aggregation method for calculating Copper Equivalent (CuEq) for rock-saw channel sampling intervals are reported using copper equivalent (CuEq) cut-off grades with up to 10m internal dilution, excluding bridging to a single sample and with minimum intersection length of 50m.
Copper Equivalent is currently calculated (assuming 100% recovery of copper and gold) using a Gold Conversion Factor of 0.751 (CuEq = Cu + Au x 0.751), calculated from a current nominal copper price of
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