The company said further warrant expiries in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, if exercised in full, would generate additional proceeds of $54.1 million. Of these, approximately 63% of the remaining outstanding warrants are held by management, and primarily by the company’s Executive Chairman, Richard Warke.
Warke is a Vancouver-based Canadian business executive with more than 35 years of experience in the international resource sector.
Solaris shares advanced on the news, rising 6.5% or 68 cents to $11.10 on volume of 100,730. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $17.17.
Solaris recently released a resource update which clearly reaffirms the high quality of its flagship Warintza copper project in southeastern Ecuador.
The update included an in-pit indicate mineral resource of 579 million tonnes at 0.59% copper equivalent (CuEq), and an inferred resource of 887 million tonnes of 0.47% CuEq.
The updated resource also included a high-grade near-surface starter pit of almost 300 million tonnes of grade 0.73%-0.82% CuEq (including 180 million tonnes of indicated material grading 0.82% CuEq, and 107 million tonnes of inferred material, grading 0.73% CuEq.
Resources outlined in the starter pit are expected to improve the payback timeframe and economics of any future mining operation.
Warintza is a world class porphyry copper discovery, with untested gold potential, that the company has been able to expand in recent months. It was discovered in the early 2000s by geologist David Lowell, who was a consultant and strategic partner to Solaris when he passed away in May, 2020. He was 92 at the time of his death.
The discovery sat largely dormant since 2001 due to a breakdown in social acceptance from local communities. However, extensive dialogue led to an understanding of the root causes of conflict, leading to a resolution of underlying issues by 2019.
The company has said the Warintza Central area of the 26,777-hectare project continues to demonstrate the potential to become a large, high-grade, open pit copper porphyry deposit, within the limits of the mineralization yet to be found.
The latest estimate is based on 75,000 metres of drilling in 100 holes completed since drilling recommenced in 2020.
Aside from the Warintza project, Solaris is focused on the discovery potential of the advancing Capricho, Paco Oro projects in Peru and the Ricardo (joint venture with Freeport-McMoran Inc. [FCX-NYSE]), and Tamarugo projects in Chile. Solaris is exposed to increasing copper prices via its 60% stake in the La Verde joint venture with Teck Resources Ltd. (TECK.B-TSX, TECK.A-TSX, TECK-NYSE) in Mexico.
Exploration is currently being led by Lowell’s Ecuadorian protégé, Jorge Fierro, currently the Vice-President, Exploration at Solaris.