Lundin Gold has 30 mining concessions covering over 64,000 hectares in southeast Ecuador. Exploration is focussed on the 38 km2 Suarez pull-apart basin (Suarez Basin) that hosts the Fruta del Norte epithermal gold-silver deposit. The Suarez Basin is a highly prospective structure and, in the Company’s opinion, is likely to host additional epithermal ore deposits.
100% owned concessions
The Fruta del Norte epithermal gold-silver deposit formed early in the development of the Suarez Basin and became buried by basin-fill sediments. Mineralising fluids continued to flow through the permeable sediments and left the distinct alteration (Illite and marcasite) and epithermal pathfinder geochemical signature (arsenic and antimony) used to make the original discovery. These anomalies may also exist over other buried epithermal gold-silver deposits elsewhere within the basin. Extensive mapping, stream sediment, rock, soil sampling and geophysics across the Suarez Basin has located multiple alteration, geochemical and geophysical anomalies that have been prioritised for scout drill testing.
Epithermal gold-silver targets within the basin that have been delineated so far include:
- FDN Southwest
- La Negra
- FDN East
- El Copal
- El Puma
Two additional epithermal gold-silver targets have been identified outside of the basin are:
- Gata Salvaje
- Emperador (includes the Robles, Chanchito and El Arco targets)
Lundin Gold’s mining concessions are registered in the names of the Company’s 100% owned subsidiaries: Aurelian Ecuador S.A., Aurelianmenor S.A. and Surnorte S.A.
Suarez Basin Targets
Geophysical surveys completed include a helicopter Z-Tipper Axis Electromagnetic resistivity (ZTEM), a heli-magnetic and radiometric over the Suarez Basin and ground IP (Gradient Array and Pole – Dipole) over selected targets. The Fruta del Norte SW target is based purely on a structural interpretation that part of the Fruta del Norte deposit has been offset by the West fault and displaced along strike to the southwest.
The Barbasco target is located approximately 7 km south of the Fruta del Norte gold mine, on the eastern edge of the 16 km long Suarez Basin. The target is 3.8 km in length and has a similar structural location and orientation within the Suarez Basin to Fruta del Norte. Similar to the surface expression of Fruta del Norte, it is defined by soil and rock samples anomalous in the epithermal pathfinder elements arsenic and antimony, illite and marcasite alteration and a ZTEM (resistivity) geophysical survey. Small scale epithermal gold-silver stockwork veins in the target area have assayed up to 10.4 g/t Au. Barbasco’s surface consists of Basin conglomerates and late Fruta del Norte andesite.
Barbasco is the Company’s highest priority target and is found in the Emperador concession, for which Lundin Gold received an exploration permit in September 2020. Lundin Gold expects to embark on a 9,000m drilling program on Barbasco and Puente-Princesa in early 2021, to test for mineralization buried below surface indications in a geological setting very similar to that of Fruta del Norte.
Early stage exploration across the concession package has also identified orogenic gold, porphyry copper and skarn style mineralization.
Concessions subject to the Newcrest Earn-In
In 2018, Lundin Gold entered into an Earn-In Agreement with Newcrest Mining Ltd. which provides for the creation of a joint venture company to explore eight early stage concessions to the north (Alberto and Victoriana) and south (Maicus 1 to 6) of the Company’s main concession block. Under the Earn-In Agreement, Newcrest Mining Limited is operator and can earn up to a 50% interest in the joint venture company by spending $20 million over a five-year period.
The concessions subject to the earn-in are registered in the name of the Company’s 100% owned subsidiary, Surnorte S.A.