Core Gold Inc. [CGLD-TSXV; CGLDF-OTCQX] on Thursday March 22 announced plans for a Phase 1 exploration drilling program at its 100%-owned Copper Duke project in Ecuador. The program will be consist of 15,000 metres of drilling.
The company said it has received the necessary exploration permit from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Mines and is in the process of posting the required environmental bond.
“The issuance of the drilling permit and plans for Phase 1 exploration drilling program at Copper Duke is a milestone for the company as it represents the beginning of testing of one of the world’s best undrilled gold-copper porphyry targets,” said Core Gold CEO Keith Piggott.
Core Gold is a gold mining company with operations in southern Ecuador.
The Copper Duke Project consists of 13 mineral concessions covering a number of gold and porphyry occurrences in an area of approximately 100 km2. The project is located in Catacocha (Paltas) County, Province of Loja, approximately 18 km east of the company’s Dynasty Goldfield mining unit and 40 km south of Core Gold’s Portovelo processing plant.
Core Gold began mining operations at Dynasty Goldfield within four months of assuming control of the company in September 2016. In the third quarter of 2017, the project was producing 750 tonnes per day of material with an average grade of 3.2 g/t gold.
The Dynasty Goldfield has a total NI 43-101-compliant resource of 2.2 million ounces of gold, the company has said.
The Zaruma Gold Mine and Portovelo Mill is Core Gold’s legacy project. It is located in a district that has produced over five million ounces of gold historically.
Portovelo is a well-established processing plant with a nameplate capacity of 2,000 tonnes per day, making it the largest processing plant currently operating in Ecuador.
“When we assumed control of the company in late 2016 it was always a key objective of our team to drill Copper Duke and we are pleased to be proceeding with that plan,” Piggott said.
“Our entire team is excited by the prospect of drilling this target and we hope to continue the exploration success that Ecuador has seen over the past two years with world-class projects such as Cascabel showing the potential of the country,” he said.
To date, a major copper-gold porphyry complex, El Huato, and an additional four copper porphyry targets (Loma Redonda, Rio Catamayo, Landaluma, and Barbasco) and two gold targets have been identified at Copper Duke.
The Phase 1 exploration program will focus on El Huato and will seek to test both the project’s gold-copper porphyry potential and quartz gold bearing vein system.
The El Huato copper-gold porphyry system was discovered by a United Nations survey in 1968. Geographically, the zone comprises Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary rocks intruded by diorite and granodiorite of the Tangula batholith.
The zone comprises a central gold-bearing porphyry and a southern copper-gold bearing porphyry. There are also significant copper and gold geochemical anomalies to the north of the area.
News of the exploration program comes just weeks after the company said it intends to conduct an offering, on a non-brokered private placement basis, of up to 14.2 million units at a subscription price of $0.30 per unit for gross proceeds of up to$4.25 million.
On Thursday, Core Gold shares eased 6.45% or $0.02 to 29 cents. The 52-week range is 45 cents and 22 cents.