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SolGold PLC Announces NI 43-101 Technical Report

ACCESSWIRE

By SolGold PLC

BISHOPSGATE, LONDON / ACCESSWIRE / January 3, 2019 / The Board of SolGold (LSE and TSX code: SOLG) is pleased to announce the filing on SEDAR of independent NI 43-101 Technical Report completed by SRK Consulting (UK) Limited entitled:

“A TECHNICAL REPORT ON AN UPDATED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE FOR THE ALPALA DEPOSIT, CASCABEL PROJECT, NORTHERN ECUADOR”.

Highlights:

  • Alpala Mineral Resource is 2,050 Mt @
    0.60% CuEq (at 0.2% CuEq cut-off) in the Indicated category, and 900 Mt @ 0.35%
    CuEq (at 0.2% CuEq cut-off) in the Inferred category.

  • Contained metal content of 8.4 Mt Cu
    and 19.4 Moz Au in the Indicated category.

  • Contained metal content of 2.5 Mt Cu
    and 3.8 Moz Au in the Inferred category.

  • Potential for further growth with the
    2019 drilling campaign to continue to expand the deposit at Alpala SE, Alpala
    NW, Trivinio and Alpala Western Limb.

  • 958 Mt @ 0.97% CuEq (9.3 Mt CuEq)
    containing 6.1 Mt Cu and 16.2 Moz Au at 0.45% CuEq cut-off, 93% of which is in
    the Indicated category (by metal content).

  • 420 Mt @1.47% CuEq (6.1 Mt CuEq)
    containing 3.8 Mt Cu and 12.3 Moz Au at 0.9% CuEq cut-off, 97% of which is in
    the Indicated category (by metal content).

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Alpala Deposit is located in Northern Ecuador, lying upon the northern section of the prolific Andean Copper belt, renowned as the base for nearly half of the world’s copper production. The project area hosts mineralisation of Eocene age, the same age as numerous Tier 1 deposits along the Andean Copper Belt in Chile and Peru to the south. The project is a three-hour drive north of Quito, close to water, power supply and Pacific ports. SolGold holds an 85% registered and beneficial interest in ENSA (Exploraciones Novomining S.A.) which holds 100% of the Cascabel tenement.

SRK Consulting (UK) Limited was retained by SolGold to prepare an updated Mineral Resource Estimate and an independent 43-101 report on the Alpala Deposit. The resource estimate technical report was prepared by SRK Project Manager, Mr Martin Pittuck using all available information.

The updated Alpala Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate was estimated from 68,173 assays, with 66,739 assays representing diamond drill core samples, and 1434 assays representing rock-saw channel samples cut from surface rock exposures. Drill core samples were obtained from total of 133,576m of drilling comprising 128 diamond drill holes, including 75 drill holes (Holes 1-75), 34 daughter holes, 8 re-drills, and 11 over-runs, and represents full assay data from holes 1-67 and partial assay data received from holes 68 to 75. Rock-saw samples were obtained from 2743m of rock-saw cuts from 262 surface rock exposure trenches.

MRE#2 comprises 2,050 Mt grading 0.60% copper equivalent (“CuEq”) of Indicated Mineral Resources for a contained metal content of 8.4 Mt copper (“Cu”) and 19.4 Moz gold (“Au”), and 900 Mt grading 0.35% CuEq of Inferred Mineral Resources for 2.5 Mt Cu and 3.8 Moz Au, using a 0.2% CuEq cut-off grade (Table 1).

Grade
Category

Resource
Category

Tonnage
(Mt)

Grade

Contained Metal

Cu (%)

Au (g/t)

CuEq (%)

Cu (Mt)

Au (Moz)

CuEq (Mt)

Total >0.2% CuEq

Indicated

2,050

0.41

0.29

0.60

8.4

19.4

12.2

Inferred

900

0.27

0.13

0.35

2.5

3.8

3.2

Table 1: Alpala Mineral Resource statement effective 07 November 2018*

Notes:

1. Mr. Martin Pittuck, CEng, MIMMM, FGS, is responsible for this Mineral Resource statement and is an “independent qualified person” as such term is defined in NI 43-101

2. Mineral Resource is reported using a cut-off grade of 0.2% copper equivalent calculated using [copper grade (%)] + [gold grade (g/t) x 0.63]

3. Mineral Resource is considered to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction by underground mass mining such as block caving

4. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability

5. The statement uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014) as required by NI 43-101.

6. MRE is reported on 100 percent basis

Within the deposit and included in the above total MRE figures, a higher-grade core exists, totalling 400 Mt grading 1.49% CuEq of Indicated Mineral Resources for a contained metal content of 3.6 Mt Cu and 11.9 Moz gold Au, and 20 Mt grading 1.05% CuEq of Inferred Mineral Resources for a contained metal content of 0.2Mt Cu and 0.4 Moz gold Au, using a 0.9% CuEq cut-off (Table 6.2).

Cut off Grade
(% CuEQ)

Resource
Category

Tonnage
(Mt)

Grade

Contained Metal

Cu (%)

Au (g/t)

CuEq (%)

Cu (Mt)

Au (Moz)

CuEq (Mt)

0.10

Indicated

2,460

0.36

0.26

0.52

8.9

20.2

12.9

0.15

Indicated

2,290

0.38

0.27

0.55

8.8

19.9

12.7

0.20

Indicated

2,050

0.41

0.29

0.60

8.4

19.4

12.2

0.30

Indicated

1,500

0.49

0.37

0.73

7.4

17.8

10.9

0.45

Indicated

810

0.66

0.57

1.03

5.4

15.0

8.3

0.70

Indicated

490

0.84

0.83

1.37

4.1

13.0

6.7

0.90

Indicated

400

0.90

0.93

1.49

3.6

11.9

5.9

1.10

Indicated

200

1.13

1.36

1.99

2.2

8.7

3.9

1.50

Indicated

120

1.35

1.77

2.47

1.7

7.0

3.0

0.10

Inferred

1,380

0.22

0.11

0.28

3.0

4.7

3.9

0.15

Inferred

1,140

0.24

0.12

0.32

2.8

4.3

3.6

0.20

Inferred

900

0.27

0.13

0.35

2.5

3.8

3.2

0.30

Inferred

490

0.34

0.16

0.45

1.7

2.5

2.2

0.45

Inferred

150

0.49

0.26

0.65

0.7

1.2

1.0

0.70

Inferred

50

0.67

0.41

0.93

0.4

0.7

0.5

0.90

Inferred

20

0.72

0.52

1.05

0.2

0.4

0.2

1.10

Inferred

10

0.76

0.70

1.20

0.1

0.1

0.1

1.50

Inferred

Table 2: Alpala grade-tonnage curves effective 07 November 2018, expressed by a range in copper equivalent cut-off grades*

*Note: refer to the Notes under Table 6.1 for description and qualifications that pertain to the resource statement. 

The November 2018 MRE update (MRE#2) is reported using a cut-off grade of 0.2% copper-equivalent (CuEq) which SolGold and SRK Consulting consider to be reasonable, reflecting the potential for economic extraction by high production rate mass mining methods such as block caving. The central portions of the deposit present an opportunity for early extraction of higher grade material.

The updated resource estimate represents an increase in the overall reported resource of 108% (by metal content) from 7.4Mt CuEq in Dec 2017 Maiden MRE (MRE#1) using at 0.3% CuEq cut-off, to the current 15.4 Mt CuEq using a 0.2% CuEq cut-off.

The NI 43-101 technical report on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Alpala Deposit can be found at the following link:

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/1621M_1-2019-1-3.pdf

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

Qualified Person:

Information in this report relating to the exploration results is based on data reviewed by Mr Jason Ward ((CP) B.Sc. Geol.), the Chief Geologist of the Company. Mr Ward is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, holds the designation MAusIMM (CP), and has in excess of 20 years’ experience in mineral exploration and is a Qualified Person for the purposes of the relevant LSE and TSX Rules. Mr Ward consents to the inclusion of the information in the form and context in which it appears.

By order of the Board

Karl Schlobohm

Company Secretary

CONTACTS

Nicholas Mather
SolGold Plc (Chief Executive Officer)
nmather@solgold.com.au

Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0665

Karl Schlobohm
SolGold Plc (Company Secretary)
kschlobohm@solgold.com.au

Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0661

Anna Legge
SolGold Plc (Corporate Communications)
alegge@solgold.com.au

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3823 2131

Gordon Poole / Nick Hennis
Camarco (Financial PR / IR)
solgold@camarco.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3757 4997

Andrew Chubb / Ingo Hofmaier
Hannam & Partners (Joint Broker)
solgold@hannam.partners

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7907 8500

Clayton Bush / Trystan Cullen / Laura Hamilton
Liberum Capital Limited (Joint Broker)
solgold@liberum.com

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2222

Ross Allister / James Bavister
Peel Hunt (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Follow us on twitter @SolGold_plc

ABOUT SOLGOLD

SolGold is a leading exploration company focussed on the discovery and definition of world-class copper and gold deposits. In 2017 SolGold’s management team was recognised by the “Mines and Money” Forum as an example of excellence in the industry, and continue to strive to deliver objectives efficiently and in the interests of shareholders. SolGold is the largest and most active concession holder in Ecuador and is aggressively exploring the length and breadth of this highly prospective and gold-rich section of the Andean Copper Belt.

Ecuador dedicated to become a serious mining nation

Ecuador has, over the last 5 years, been recognised globally as a frontrunner in emerging mining nations as it develops regulatory and fiscal frameworks to facilitate the development of a fiscally, socially and environmentally strong and responsible mining industry.

Dedicated stakeholders

SolGold employs a staff of over 400 and at least 90% are Ecuadorean. This is expected to grow as the operations at Alpala, and in Ecuador generally, expand. SolGold focusses its operations to be safe, reliable and environmentally responsible and maintains close relationships with its local communities. SolGold has engaged an increasingly skilled refined and experienced team of geoscientists using state of the art geophysical and geochemical modelling applied to an extensive data base to enable the delivery of ore grade intersections from nearly every drill hole at Alpala. SolGold has 86 geologists, of which 25% are female, on the ground in Ecuador looking for copper and gold.

About Cascabel and Alpala

The Alpala deposit is the main target in the Cascabel concession, located on the northern section of the heavily endowed Andean Copper Belt, the entirety of which is renowned as the base for nearly half of the world’s copper production. The project area hosts mineralisation of Eocene age, the same age as numerous Tier 1 deposits along the Andean Copper Belt in Chile and Peru to the south. The project base is located at Rocafuerte within the Cascabel concession in northern Ecuador, an approximately three hour drive on sealed highway north of Quito, close to water, power supply and Pacific ports (Figure 1).

Alpala has produced some of the greatest drill hole intercepts in porphyry copper-gold exploration history, as exemplified by Hole 12 (CSD-16-012) returning 1560m grading 0.59% copper and 0.54 g/t gold including, 1044m grading 0.74% copper and 0.54 g/t gold.

Having fulfilled its earn-in requirements, SolGold is a registered shareholder with an unencumbered legal and beneficial 85% interest in ENSA (Exploraciones Novomining S.A.) which holds 100% of the Cascabel concession covering approximately 50km2. The junior equity owner in ENSA is required to repay 15% of costs since SolGold’s earn in was completed, from 90% of its share of distribution of earnings or dividends from ENSA or the Cascabel concession. It is also required to contribute to development or be diluted, and if its interest falls below 10%, it shall reduce to a 0.5% NSR royalty which SolGold may acquire for US$3.5m.

Over 145,000m of diamond drilling has been completed on the project. With numerous rigs currently active on the project, SolGold produces up to approximately 10,000m of core every month. The Cascabel drill program is currently focussed on extending and upgrading the status of the Alpala Resource, as well as further drill testing of the rapidly evolving Aguinaga prospect. Drill testing of the Trivinio target has commenced, whilst the numerous other untested targets, namely at Moran, Cristal, Tandayama-America and Chinambicito, are flagged for drill testing as overall program demands allow.

Since the publication of the Alpala Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate in January 2018, which outlined a contained metal inventory of 5.2 million tonnes of copper and 12.6 million ounces of gold, the Company has nearly doubled both drilled and reported meterage and will produce a revised resource statement addressing the evident growth in the size of the deposit at the conclusion of the current Alpala drill programme. Investors should consult the technical report dated 18 December 2017 for a detailed account of the assumptions on which the estimates were based as well as any known legal, political, environmental and other risks that could materially affect the development of the resources.

Getting Alpala advanced towards development

SolGold has appointed feasibility management to initially address the production of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA), prior to the prefeasibility and feasibility studies.

The resource at the Alpala deposit boasts a high grade core which, in the event of the construction of a mine, is targeted to facilitate early cashflows and an accelerated payback of initial capital. SolGold is currently investigating development and financing options available to the company for the development of Cascabel on reaching feasibility.

SolGold’s regional push

SolGold is using its successful and cost efficient blueprint established at Alpala, and Cascabel generally, to explore for additional world class copper and gold projects across Ecuador. SolGold is the largest and most active concessionaire in Ecuador having recognised as early as 2014 that the country hosted the same untested prospectivity as the Northern Chilean section of the Andean Copper Belt, which accounts for some 25% of the world’s copper resources.

The Company believes Alpala is just the beginning for SolGold in Ecuador. The Company wholly owns four other subsidiaries active throughout the country that are now focussed on ten high priority gold and copper resource targets, several of which the Company believes have the potential, subject to resource definition and feasibility, to be developed in close succession or even on a more accelerated basis from Alpala.

SolGold is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (LSE/TSX: SOLG). The Company has on issue a total of 1,837,012,007 fully-paid ordinary shares; 21,250,000 share options exercisable at 40p and 47,012,000 share options exercisable at 60p.

See www.solgold.com.au for more information. Follow us on twitter @SolGold_plc

CAUTIONARY NOTICE

News releases, presentations and public commentary made by SolGold plc (the “Company”) and its Officers may contain certain statements and expressions of belief, expectation or opinion which are forward looking statements, and which relate, inter alia, to interpretations of exploration results to date and the Company’s proposed strategy, plans and objectives or to the expectations or intentions of the Company’s Directors. Such forward-looking and interpretative statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the control of the Company that could cause the actual performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from such interpretations and forward-looking statements.

Accordingly, the reader should not rely on any interpretations or forward-looking statements; and save as required by the exchange rules of the TSX and LSE or by applicable laws, the Company does not accept any obligation to disseminate any updates or revisions to such interpretations or forward-looking statements. The Company may reinterpret results to date as the status of its assets and projects changes with time expenditure, metals prices and other affecting circumstances.

This release may contain “forward‑looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward‑looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s plans for developing its properties. Generally, forward‑looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”.

Forward‑looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward‑looking information, including but not limited to: transaction risks; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; future prices of mineral prices; accidents, labour disputes and shortages and other risks of the mining industry. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward‑looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

The Company and its officers do not endorse, or reject or otherwise comment on the conclusions, interpretations or views expressed in press articles or third-party analysis, and where possible aims to circulate all available material on its website.

The Company recognises that the term “World Class” is subjective and for the purpose of the Company’s projects the Company considers the drilling results at the growing Alpala Porphyry Copper Gold Deposit at its Cascabel Project to represent intersections of a “World Class” deposit. The Company considers that “World Class” deposits are rare, very large, long life, low cost, and are responsible for approximately half of total global metals production.

“World Class” deposits are generally accepted as deposits of a size and quality that create multiple expansion opportunities, and have or are likely to demonstrate robust economics that ensure development irrespective of position within the global commodity cycles, or whether or not the deposit has been fully drilled out, or a feasibility study completed.

Standards drawn from industry experts (1) Singer and Menzie, 2010; (2) Schodde, 2006; (3) Schodde and Hronsky, 2006; (4) Singer, 1995; (5) Laznicka, 2010) have characterised “World Class” deposits at prevailing commodity prices. The relevant criteria for “World Class” deposits, adjusted to current long run commodity prices, are considered to be those holding or likely to hold more than 5 million tonnes of copper and/or more than 6 million ounces of gold with a modelled net present value of greater than USD 1 Billion.

The Company and its external consultants prepared an initial mineral resource estimate at the Cascabel Project in December 2017. Results are summarised in Table B attached.

The Mineral Resource Estimate was completed from 53,616m of drilling, approximately 84% of 63,500m metres drilled as of mid-December 2017, the cut-off date for the maiden resource calculation. There remains strong potential for further growth from more recent drilling results, and continue rapid growth of the deposit.

Any development or mining potential for the project remains speculative.

Drill hole intercepts have been updated to reflect current commodity prices, using a data aggregation method, defined by copper equivalent cut-off grades and reported with up to 10m internal dilution, excluding bridging to a single sample. Copper equivalent grades are calculated using a gold conversion factor of 0.63, determined using an updated copper price of USD3.00/pound and an updated gold price of USD1300/ounce. True widths of down hole intersections are estimated to be approximately 25-70%.

On the basis of the drilling results to date and the results of the Alpala Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, the reference to the Cascabel Project as “World Class” (or “Tier 1”) is considered to be appropriate. Examples of global copper and gold discoveries since 2006 that are generally considered to be “World Class” are summarised in Table A.

References cited in the text:

1.

Singer, D.A. and Menzie, W.D., 2010. Quantitative Mineral Resource Assessments: An
Integrated Approach
. Oxford University Press Inc.

2.

Schodde, R., 2006.
What do we mean by a world class deposit? And why are they
special
. Presentation. AMEC Conference, Perth.

3.

Schodde, R and Hronsky, J.M.A, 2006. The Role of World-Class Mines in Wealth
Creation.
Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists Volume 12.

4.

Singer, D.A., 1995,
World-class base and precious metal deposits-a quantitative
analysis
: Economic Geology, v. 90, no.1, p. 88-104.

5.

Laznicka, P., 2010.
Giant Metallic Deposits: Future Sources of Industrial Metal,
Second Edition
. Springer-Verlag Heidelberg.

Deposit
Name

Discovery
Year

Major
Metals

Country

Current
Status

Mining
Style

Inventory

LA COLOSA

2006

Au, Cu

Colombia

Feasibility – New Project

Open Pit

1 469Mt @ 0.95g/t Au; 14.3Moz Au

LOS SULFATOS

2007

Cu, Mo

Chile

Advanced Exploration

Underground

2 1.2Bt @1.46% Cu & 0.02% Mo; 17.5Mt Cu

BRUCEJACK

2008

Au

Canada

Development/Construction

Open Pit

3 15.6Mt @ 16.1 g/t Au; 8.1Moz Au

KAMOA-KAKULA

2008

Cu, Co, Zn

Congo (DRC)

Feasibility – New Project

Open Pit & Underground

4 1.3Bt @ 2.72% Cu; 36.5 Mt Cu

GOLPU

2009

Cu, Au

PNG

Feasibility – New Project

Underground

5 820Mt @ 1.0% Cu, 0.70g/t Au; 8.2Mt Cu, 18.5Moz Au

COTE

2010

Au, Cu

Canada

Feasibility Study

Open Pit

6 289Mt @ 0.90 g/t Au; 8.4Moz Au

HAIYU

2011

Au

China

Development/Construction

Underground

7 15Moz Au

RED HILL-GOLD RUSH

2011

Au

United States

Feasibility Study

Open Pit & Underground

8 47.6Mt @ 4.56 g/t Au; 7.0Moz Au

XILING

2016

Au

China

Advanced Exploration

Underground

9 383Mt @ 4.52g/t Au; 55.7Moz Au

Source: after MinEx Consulting, May
2017

1 Source: http://www.mining‐technology.com/projects/la‐colosa

2 Source: http://www.angloamerican.com/media/press‐releases/2009

3 Source: http://www.pretivm.com/projects/brucejack/overview/

4 Source: https://www.ivanhoemines.com/projects/kamoa‐kakula‐project/

5 Source: http://www.newcrest.com.au/media/resource_reserves/2016/December_2016_Resources_and_Reserves_Statement.pdf

6 Source: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/news/gold‐iamgold‐files‐cote‐project‐pea/

7 Source: http://www.zhaojin.com.cn/upload/2015‐05‐31/580601981.pdf

8 Source: https://mrdata.usgs.gov/sedau/show‐sedau.php?rec_id=103

9 Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017‐03/29/content_28719822.htm

Table A: Tier 1 global copper and gold discoveries since 2006. This table does not purport to be exhaustive exclusive or definitive.

Resource
Category

Tonnage
(Mt)

Grade

Contained
Metal

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

CuEq
(%)

Cu
(Mt)

Au
(Moz)

CuEq
(Mt)

>1.1% CuEq

Indicated

70

1.1

1.3

1.8

0.7

2.8

1.2

Inferred

50

1.1

1.3

1.8

0.5

1.9

0.8

0.9 – 1.1% CuEq

Indicated

50

0.7

0.5

1.0

0.3

0.9

0.5

Inferred

50

0.7

0.5

1.0

0.4

0.9

0.5

0.3 – 0.9% CuEq

Indicated

310

0.4

0.2

0.5

1.2

2.3

1.6

Inferred

550

0.4

0.2

0.5

2.0

3.5

2.6

Total
>0.3% CuEq

Indicated

430

0.5

0.4

0.8

2.3

6.0

3.4

Inferred

650

0.4

0.3

0.6

2.9

6.3

4.0

Table B: Alpala Mineral Resource statement as of 18 December 2017

Notes:

Mr. Martin Pittuck, MSc, CEng, MIMMM, is responsible for this Mineral Resource estimate and is an “independent qualified person” as such term is defined in NI 43-101.

The Mineral Resource is reported using a cut-off grade of 0.3% copper equivalent calculated using [copper grade (%)] + [gold grade (g/t) x 0.6] based on a copper price of US$2.8/lb and gold price of US$1,160/oz.

The Mineral Resource is considered to have reasonable potential for eventual economic extraction by underground mass mining such as block caving.

Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.

The statement uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014).

The MRE is reported on 100 percent basis.

Values given in the table have been rounded, apparent calculation errors resulting from this are not considered to be material.

The effective date for the Mineral Resource statement is 18th December 2017.

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

SOURCE: SolGold PLC

ReleaseID: 531787