Newcrest ups stake in SolGold

Gold miner Newcrest Mining has increasing its share in copper-gold explorer SolGold to take its interest in the company to 15.23 per cent.

Newcrest increased its holding in the emerging company by 27.87 million shares to around 281.2 million shares, a 1.4 per cent increase in its overall shares (SolGold has about 1.85 billion issued shares in total).

SolGold is the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel copper-gold project in the copper-rich Imbabura province in Ecuador.

The project contains indicated and inferred resources of 2.95 billion tonnes at 0.6 per cent copper equivalent, with a contained metal content of 10.9 million tonnes of copper and 23.2 million ounces of gold.

Some of the project’s drill hole intercepts have returned the highest poryphory copper-gold grades in modern history, particularly from the twelfth drill hole, which has recorded returns of 0.59 per cent copper and 0.54 grams of gold per tonne from 1560 metres of drilling.

As such, the project has attracted considerable investment interest from Tier 1 miners.

In September, BHP purchased 6 per cent of SolGold from Guyana Goldfields for £27.42 million at a price of 26.6 pence per share. The mining major then increased its interest in the following month by 5.2 per cent to 11.2 per cent for a further £45 million ($83 million) at 45 pence per share, a decision that showcased the rapidly evolving nature of Cascabel.

Brisbane-based SolGold is dual-listed on both the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

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