Osisko Gold Royalties has agreed to provide $50m in royalty financing to SolGold to fund the development of the latter’s Cascabel copper-gold property in northeastern Ecuador.

As part of the deal, Osisko will make $50m in an upfront cash payment to SolGold in exchange for a 0.6% net smelter return royalty (NSR) on the Cascabel property, including SolGold’s Alpala deposit.

The Cascabel property comprises 4,979ha of Andean Copper Belt and is located on the margin of the Eocene and Miocene metallogenic belts, which are claimed to host some of the world’s largest porphyry copper and gold deposits.

Osisko will receive $4m in minimum annual payments under the NSR, beginning in 2030 and until the end of 2039.

SolGold also has a buy-back option, which is exercisable for one-third of the NSR interest, for four years.

Osisko president and CEO Sandeep Singh said: “We believe that Alpala has the potential to become a Tier-1 asset with a much longer mine life than currently envisaged.

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“SolGold was a first mover in Ecuador and we view the broader Cascabel property as having the geological potential to support significant further discoveries.”

The deal is subject to customary conditions.

SolGold chairperson Liam Twigger said: “This funding immediately removes the financing overhang that has encumbered SolGold and provides an accretive and attractive financing solution.  SolGold can now devote its complete attention to the Strategic Review Process which is currently underway to maximise shareholder value.”

SolGold director Dan Vujcic said: “Working with Osisko, a party, like SolGold, with big aspirations is exciting and is a testament to the relationships that can be forged on the back of owning a Tier 1 project in a commodity essential to the global shift to decarbonisation.”