It has been another busy and successful year for SolGold.
To kick the year off, SolGold released its Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for the Alpala Project, which tethered on the edge of a globally recognised Tier 1 classification. The aggressive drill programme continued after that, with 12 rigs on site throughout the year working solely on expanding the high-grade core and delivering more intersections toward an ultimate goal to double the Mineral Resource by the end of the year.
Our Management team travelled extensively this year to promote SolGold and meet with existing and prospective shareholders at a number of different worldwide conferences and company roadshows. SolGold aims to continuously increase awareness on SolGold’s strategy to emerge as a Tier 1 copper and gold producer in Ecuador.
This year saw mining majors BHP and Newcrest Mining further endorse the Company and the Alpala Project by increasing their shareholdings on separate occasions.
In October, BHP increased its holding to 11.2% by subscribing to 100 million shares at 45p to raise £45m (USD $59.2 million) for SolGold, with the intent for the raised capital to go straight back into the exploration budget.
More recently, Newcrest bought another 28.87 million SolGold shares from third parties at a premium price of 40 pence – upping its investment to 15.3% of the Company.
Earlier in the year, SolGold appointed James Clare as a Non-Executive Director to the SolGold Board of Directors and Eduardo Valenzuela as its Study Manager. James and Eduardo will help SolGold's efforts at both corporate and project levels to achieve world class outcomes for shareholders.
Throughout the year, SolGold has completed grassroots exploration across a vast number of the 72 regional concessions which has helped identify 11 priority targets across the spine of the Andean Copper Belt in Ecuador.
The 11 priority projects are;
- La Hueca
- Rio Amarillo
- Cisne Loja
- Cisne Victoria
- Cisne Loja Target 15
Ongoing exploration will focus on advancing these priority projects, through geophysical surveys and detailed soil geochemistry, with a view to progress to drill testing as soon as drilling permissions are granted.
All of the 11 priority projects are held within the Company's 100% owned subsidiaries: Carnegie Ridge Resources, Green Rock Resources, Cruz Del Sol S.A. and Valle Rico Resources.
SolGold was once again recognised for its achievements at the Mines & Money Awards Night in London, winning Mining Company of the Year (Latin America) and our CEO Nicholas Mather, won the coveted CEO of the Year (Exploration), highlighting his ongoing determination and leadership strengths for the second year in a row.
SolGold achieved its main goal for the year and indeed, doubled the Mineral Resource Estimate – with the Alpala Project now being globally recognised as a Tier 1 deposit.
In addition to SolGold’s strong geological work across Ecuador, 2018 saw an increase in our commitment to community projects and environmental impacts. Construction of the Cascabel Bakery was completed and is now baking bread and sweets for the local communities.
SolGold also developed a chicken farm for the surrounding communities and has been an actively involved in the local recycling plant this year.
SolGold is looking forward to achieving another successful year in 2019. Our team is busily working on the Preliminary Economic Assessment which is due for release in the first quarter. 2019 will see ongoing drilling at the Alpala Deposit, and continued exploration across SolGold’s regional priority targets.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our shareholders for their support throughout the year and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!