The Board of SolGold plc (AIM code: SOLG) has been advised by Newmont Ventures Limited ("NVL"), a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) that it is resigning as manager, and will cease funding, the Guadalcanal Joint Venture ("GJV") in the Solomon Islands. SolGold is in discussions with NVL regarding the exploration tenements which comprise the GJV, and will update the market in due course.
The GJV comprises 5 Prospecting Licences on the island of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. NVL has earned a 70% interest in the GJV under the terms of the JV agreement having expended some US$19 million to date since the Joint Venture commenced in April 2009.
The Board would like to reaffirm to shareholders the Board's previously stated strategy of identifying and securing potential Tier 1 gold-copper assets in gold-copper belts of the world. Following the change of the Company's name from Solomon Gold plc to SolGold plc in April 2012, the Board announced a definitive option agreement signed with Cornerstone for the Cascabel gold-copper-silver property, Ecuador, and agreed to an aggressive first year exploration program totalling US$2.8M. SolGold has also recently announced that further significant mineralisation has been discovered at the 100% owned Rannes gold-silver project in southeast Queensland, Australia.
Malcolm Norris, CEO of SolGold commented, "Despite the prospectivity of the region, this development does not come as a surprise and offers potential opportunities to SolGold. The Board will consider its options and continue to focus exploration expenditure on its most prospective opportunities."
SolGold's exploration projects are located in northern Ecuador, Australia, and the Solomon Islands. In Australia, they comprise the Rannes, Mt Perry, Cracow West and Normanby Projects, all in southeast Queensland. In the Solomon Islands they comprise the Fauro Project (located on Fauro Island), and the Guadalcanal Joint Venture with Newmont Mining Corporation, and in Ecuador a JV with Cornerstone Capital Resources on the Cascabel gold-copper project.
In July 2012, SolGold and Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. announced that they had signed a Definitive Option Agreement whereby SolGold may acquire up to 85% of Cornerstone's 100% owned 5,000 hectare Cascabel gold-copper-silver property in northern Ecuador.
The Cascabel project is located approximately 120 km north of Ecuador's capital, Quito, 20 km south of the Colombian border, and 75 km inland from the coastal city of San Lorenzo. The gold-copper porphyry project is located within the Andean western cordillera, host to numerous Tier 1 world class copper-gold deposits through Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
At the Rannes project SolGold has announced Indicated and Inferred resources of 18.7 million tonnes at 0.9 g/t gold equivalent (gold + silver) for 550,146 ounces of gold equivalent (296,657 ounces of gold and 10,137,736 ounces of silver; see announcement dated 23 May 2012 for details of the resource statement and gold equivalent ratios). The 2012 exploration program, including drilling to define new ore positions and grow the resource, is underway.
Exploration continues at Mt. Perry, Normanby and Cracow West.
In the Solomon Islands, the 2012 exploration program on the Fauro project has been delayed while a JV partner is sought to pursue drilling of gold-copper targets defined in the 2011 exploration program. The 2012 Guadalcanal Joint Venture exploration program with NVL Solomon Islands Limited (a subsidiary of NYSE-listed Newmont Mining Corporation) is now under review.
SolGold's strategy is to be an integrated gold and copper discoverer, developer and miner.
SolGold's Board includes accomplished professionals with strong track records in the areas of exploration, mine development in Australasia and Melanesia, investment, finance and law. Board and Management have significantly vested interests in the Company, holding approximately 17.8% of its issued share capital.
SolGold is based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The Company listed on London's Alternative Investment Market in 2006, under the AIM Code 'SOLG' and currently has a total of 346,715,267 fully-paid ordinary shares, 1,070 Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares, 9,472,000 options exercisable at 50p, 1,250,000 options exercisable at 28p and 1,250,000 options exercisable at 14p on issue. Further details concerning the Company's key projects and personnel can be found at www.solgold.com.au.
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