Our world class project
The Alpala Project is a porphyry copper- gold deposit located in the Imbabura province of northwest Ecuador. It lies just off a main road, a three hour drive north of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. The climate zone is tropical-savannah and vegetation is tropical forest with a well-developed soil horizon. Topography rises from elevations of 900 metres to 2,200 metres and the moderate to steep landscape is incised by four large drainage complexes.
Northern Ecuador lies within the under-explored northern section of the richly endowed Andean Copper Belt, which extends from Chile in the south to Colombia in the north and then north-west into Panama. The tenement lies on the margin of the Eocene and Miocene metallogenic belts which are renowned for hosting some of the world’s largest porphyry copper and gold deposits, like the giant La Escondida Copper Mine in Chile, which is the world’s largest producer of copper and hosted within the same age host rocks as Cascabel.
The project is located within the Cordillera Occidental (or Western Cordillera) of the Ecuadorian Andes. Basement rocks consist of ocean floor basalts and sediments of Cretaceous age. High-level Eocene (and possibly Late-Miocene) batholiths and associated granite, granodiorite and diorite bodies intrude volcanic and sedimentary rocks of Cretaceous to Tertiary age. The regional controls that localise gold and copper mineralisation at Cascabel are intimately related with the three-dimensional interaction of deep seated NE-trending 1st order (arc-parallel) structures, with NW-trending 2nd order (arc-normal) faults, and NNW-trending 3rd order structures.
Within the Cascabel concession, volcanic and sedimentary rocks are intruded by a number of Quartz diorite, diorite and hornblende diorite stocks and dykes. The SolGold field teams completed 1:500 scale, “Anaconda” style geological mapping over the tenement area and all high priority porphyry target centres have been elevated to drill ready status.
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. This exploration activity has identified 15 potential porphyry centres at Cascabel, at Alpala Central, Alpala Northwest, Alpala Southeast, Hematite Hill, Alpala East, Alpala West, Alpala South, Moran, Trivinio, Carmen, Cristal, Aguinaga, Tandayama-America, and Parambas.
Holes 5, 9, 12, 15R2, 16 ,17, 18, 19 and 21 delivered world class intersections - consisting of over 1km of continuous mineralisation grading over 1% Copper Equivalent.
SolGold published its maiden Mineral Reserve Estimate for Alpala in January 2018. The MRE is reported in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014). The highlights include:
Estimate across both Indicated and Inferred classifications totals a current 1.08 Bt @ 0.68% CuEq (7.4 Mt CuEq) at 0.3% CuEq cut off, some 40% of which is in the Indicated category (by tonnage).
Contained metal content totals a current 5.2 Mt Cu and 12.3 Moz Au, some 45% of which is within the Indicated category (by contained metal).
Higher grade core has a current 120 Mt @ 1.8% CuEq (2.0 Mt CuEq) at a 1.1% CuEq cut off, some 60% of which is in the Indicated category (by tonnage);
A further 100 Mt @ 1.0% CuEq (1.0 Mt CuEq) is added to the high grade core if a 0.9% CuEq cut off is used, some 50% of which is in the Indicated category (by tonnage).
This estimate was completed using data from 53,616m of drilling. Assay results from approximately 10,000m of drill core are still pending. There is strong potential for further growth in the deposit from pending assay results from recent drilling, conversion of current inferred to indicated mineral resources, and discovery of additional mineralisation in unclosed areas such as Alpala East, up dip Alpala Central, and Alpala North West and South East.
Over 120,000m of drilling is planned for 2018 and the company intends to update the MRE on a regular basis.
Drilling to date indicates a true width of the mineralised envelope of up to 800 metres, a length in excess of 1500 metres and over 1800m vertical extent from surface. Over 120,000m of drilling is planned for 2018 using 12 diamond drill rigs. Drilling currently focuses on:
Extending and infilling the Alpala Central area with Rigs, 1, 6 and 5.
Expanding the system at Alpala Northwest and Trivinio with Rigs 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
Testing extensions of the system at Alpala Southeast with Rigs 2, 3, and 4.
Testing geochemical and magnetic targets at Alpala West and Carmen with Rig 7.
SolGold has drill tested 5 of 15 copper-gold targets delineated in the 50 km2 tenement with a focus on Alpala. The remainder of the targets, including Aguinaga, Trivinio, Moran, Parambas and Tandayama-America are scheduled for testing in 2018 following completion of ground magnetic modelling and Spartan Orion deep IP surveys.
SolGold 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.
Please refer to the company's cautionary notice