SolGold has revealed the maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Alpala deposit at its Cascabel copper-gold porphyry project in Ecuador.

Based on the resource estimate, the Alpala target is said to have a current 1.08Bt at 0.68% CuEq (7.4Mt CuEq) at 0.3% CuEq cut-off across both indicated and inferred classifications.

Around 40% of the total estimated value is in the indicated category.

Under the MRE, the deposit is estimated to have a total contained metal content of 5.2Mt Cu and 12.3Moz Au, with around 45% of this within the indicated category.

SolGold CEO and managing director Nick Mather said: “That the maiden MRE is so big, achieved with so few drill holes and that such a large percentage is in the indicated category is testimony to the size of the system at Alpala.”

“The maiden mineral resource estimate indicates strong potential to grow with additional drilling.”

Completion of the estimate follows 53,616m of drilling.

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SolGold chief technical advisor Dr Steve Garwin said: “The maiden mineral resource estimate indicates strong potential to grow with additional drilling.

“There is room to convert inferred mineral resources into indicated mineral resources by infilling areas where the current drill hole spacing exceeds 150m, and there exists potential to convert unclassified mineralisation to inferred mineral resources.

“This is particularly important in the Alpala Northwest area, where drill holes will target the north-westerly plunge to the deposit and add to the current resources; this will increase the contained metal content of the growing deposit.”

The company is planning to immediately initiate a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the deposit at Alpala, followed by the start of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) later this year.