Ecuador-focused SolGold has received a 25-year term renewal for the concession of the Cascabel copper-gold mine project in the north-western part of Ecuador near the Andean Copper Belt until 2048.

The term renewal of the Cascabel concession has been issued by the Northern Zonal Coordination of Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

SolGold said the renewal validates that the Cascabel project, which comprises 4,979 contiguous hectares, is a large-scale mining regime in accordance with Ecuador’s mining regulations.

In a press statement, the company said: “The mining concession renewal term is 25 years from the registration date of the Resolution in the Mining Registry under the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources and subsequent notification to the Northern Zonal Coordination of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.”

According to the pre-feasibility study, the project has an estimated initial capital expenditure of $2.7bn for the initial cave development, first process plant module and infrastructure.

SolGold CEO and SolGold Ecuador president Scott Caldwell said: “SolGold is making significant strides in the advancement of the Cascabel project. The 25-year term renewal should give all stakeholders confidence in the ability of current management to move forward with our plans for Cascabel and the company.”

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By GlobalData

With the potential to be a leading South American copper and gold mine, the Cascabel project is expected to annually produce 132,000 tonnes (t) of copper, 385,000oz of gold and one million ounces of silver, or 212,000t of copper-equivalent.

The clean copper-gold-silver concentrate from the project is due to be sold to Asian and European smelters as part of a project construction financing package.

The project is schedule to start production in mid-2029.