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SolGold surges as BHP bumps up stake

SolGold is focused on projects in Ecuador, including the flagship Alpala mine estimated to have a net present value of US$6.1bn

SolGold plc - BHP buys more stakes in SolGold for US$22mln
The company is focused on projects in Ecuador

SolGold plc’s (LON:SOLG) shares jumped on the news BHP Group PLC (LON:BHP) is investing an extra US$22mln in the company, becoming its largest shareholder.

The Australian gold and copper miner said in an update on Monday that the FTSE 100 giant has agreed to buy 77mln shares at 22.15p each, increasing its stake from 11% to 14.7%.

READ: BHP boss retires to take FTSE 100 exodus to 21

The price of the share subscription agreement represents a 13% premium to Friday’s closing price of 19.68p, but well down on the 37p-40p range seen in the first half of the year.

SolGold is focused on projects in Ecuador, including the flagship Alpala mine that is estimated to have a net present value of US$6.1bn.

The company is working on a pre-feasibility study scheduled to end in the first quarter of 2020.

Current estimates are for 2,050mln tonnes (Mt) at 0.6% copper equivalent and 900 Mt at 0.35% copper equivalent.

SolGold shares have been under pressure over the past six months due to difficult economics in Ecuador, lower copper prices and the need for more financing for the study at Alpala, which house broker Liberum said should now be causing less concern.

“Ecuador also remains one of the most prospective mining jurisdictions globally and assays from the Blanca gold prospect could confirm a new commercial discovery just to the north of Alpala,” analysts said in a note at the end of last week.

Shares were up 11% to 21.65p on Monday morning.

Quick facts: SolGold plc

Price: 26 GBX

AIM:SOLG
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £538.78 m
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