Cascabel copper/gold/silver project, Ecuador – update

Image of drill core from the Cascabel project

Photo by SolGold

17th May 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Cascabel copper/gold/silver project.

Northern Ecuador.

Project Owner/s
Exploraciones Novomining, an 85%-owned subsidiary of SolGold.

Project Description
A new prefeasibility study (PFS) has determined that over an initial 28-year mine life, Cascabel could produce 4.3-million tonnes of copper equivalent comprising 2.9-million tonnes of copper, 6.9-million ounces of gold and 18.4-million ounces of silver.

At peak production, the mine will yield 216 000 t/y of copper, 734 000 oz/y of gold and 1.16-million ounces of silver a year.

Block cave mining will be used at the project.

Following a ramp-up period of about two years, the initial cave will achieve a production rate of 12-million tonnes a year. The cave will extract high-grade ore, averaging 1.5% copper equivalent for the first ten years of operation.

The mining operations will be expanded by an additional 12-million tonnes a year, increasing to a total production rate of 24-million tonnes in Year 6 of mine production.

Ore from the mine will be transported to the underground primary crushers by load, haul, dump loaders and crushed to -160 mm. The crushed ore will be conveyed directly to the coarse ore stockpile adjacent to the mill at the surface.

Ore will be reclaimed from the coarse ore stockpile and conveyed to a conventional semiautogenous grinding ball mill crusher circuit. Slurry from the ball mill will be pumped to the flotation circuit, where concentrate will be floated, filtered and stored for transport by truck to the port site concentrate storage barn. Tailings will flow by gravity to the tailings storage facility.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The new PFS shows the project to have a pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $5.4-billion and 33% internal rate of return, with a payback of four years.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital is estimated $1.55-billion, a $1-billion saving on the previous PFS.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
SolGold is making significant strides in securing financing for its project, with capital providers expressing a keen interest in committing to a longer-term financing package.

The financing will cover a significant portion of the estimated initial capital cost of the project.

SolGold has also secured a $10-million loan facility, which provides an immediate cash infusion to support ongoing operations, and the flexibility to finalise the more comprehensive financing arrangement.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
SolGold, tel +44 20 3823 2130 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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