SolGold plc (LON:SOLG), the mine exploration specialist with heavyweight backing, said it has identified what could be a "sleeping giant" within its portfolio of copper-gold assets in northern Ecuador.
The cluster of preserved porphyry lithocap zones has been discovered at the Rio Amarillo site, 35km from the company’s flagship Alpala copper, gold and silver discovery.
Porphyry deposits tend to be large, internationally-significant accumulations that are found in formerly volcanically active parts of the world such as Chile and Mongolia.
"Early work is revealing what we believe could be a sleeping giant with a big cluster of large and fertile porphyry systems similar to those discovered at the company's Cascabel project,” said Benn Whistler, SolGold’s technical manager, of Rio Amarillo.
The main target areas have characteristics typical of other similar systems and clusters of systems along the Andean Copper Belt that have generated some very “large globally significant porphyry deposits”, he added.
“With surface mineralisation covering a vertical extent of up to 1500m, we can envisage that exploratory drilling will test an enormous vertical column of 3-3.5km," he added.
SolGold’s made its name discovering Alpala, a world-class asset with contained metal content of 8.4 Mt of copper and 19.4mln ounces of gold in the indicated category.
Mining giant BHP (LON:BHP) is a 15% shareholder in the business.