A few hours ago, Solgold CEO Jason Ward presented the results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the second generation mining project, Cascabel, located in the north of the country, in the province of Imbabura. According to the data, the mineral deposit Alpala, would become the largest underground mine in silver, third in gold and sixth in the world ranking, according to estimates of mineral reserves that reach 10.9 million tons of copper. copper and more than 23 million ounces of gold.
The information was made public during a conference that included the participation of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Carlos Pérez García, authorities of the country’s mining sector and representatives of mining companies that operate large-scale and medium-scale and small-scale mining projects.
The announcement comes in the midst of a sensitive juncture, when the mining sector and the anti-mining ecologist await a pronouncement from the Constitutional Court on the possibility of holding popular consultations by private communities on the management of non-renewable natural resources, which They are of national interest. A request for consultation to prevent the exploitation of Cascabel has been submitted to the Court.
Meanwhile, Minister Pérez highlighted the investment for the development of this project that currently generates 500 direct jobs. “Ecuador has a high potential in mining. An example of this is the Cascabel project whose investment amounts, before the mine starts producing one gram of gold or one tonne of copper, reaches $ 2,800 million, while during the useful life of the project, a nearby capital will be required to $ 26,000 million, which implies important benefits in terms of employment, infrastructure, taxes and royalties, as well as investment in social compensation works, environmental care, training, among others “.
The preliminary evaluation of the project establishes four scenarios for the production of ore that estimates a useful life of the mine between 49 and 66 years, by means of an underground mining method. An annual production of metals is estimated in the first 25 years of around 207 thousand tons of copper, 438 thousand ounces of gold and 1.4 million ounces of silver.
With these results, Cascabel is confirmed as one of the world class projects, qualified by experts as a level 1 deposit. (I)