Sunstone Metals Ltd (ASX:STM) has had further success at its El Palmar gold-copper discovery in northern Ecuador after the third hole in its drilling program fielded intersections described as “outstanding”.
The hole returned 259.56 metres at 0.41 g/t gold and 0.14% copper (0.63 g/t gold equivalent) from 10.4 metres and within that was 105.09 metres at 0.75 g/t gold and 0.75% copper (1.07 g/t gold equivalent) from 32 metres.
Overall, the fresh assays indicate substantial grades and widths of gold and copper porphyry mineralisation within five holes across a 300-metre mineralised zone, which remains open on the south side of the El Palmar magnetic complex.
Three more drill holes have since been completed on the gold-copper property, while a seventh is underway.
Importantly, all the holes drilled so far are mineralised from shallow depths, firming up the theory that El Palmar is host to a large gold-copper porphyry discovery.
“Big system with huge potential”
Sunstone managing director Malcolm Norris said it was clear the company had made a major discovery at El Palmar.
“These results are very good and continue to support our view that El Palmar is a substantial discovery.
“This is a big system and has huge potential.
“It is early days, but importantly every hole has been mineralised.
“We are increasing our understanding of the geology and the controls on mineralisation, and we are continuing to deliver good grades and widths with mineralisation that starts from surface.
“We are now drilling hole seven. In early December, we plan to have a second drilling rig on the project that will drill the deep magnetic targets.”
All eyes on deep targets
Norris continued: “We are seeing some evidence that the first seven holes are defining the upper parts of a large porphyry system with multiple mineralising intrusions emplaced into wall rocks.
“Given this, we are increasingly excited about the deep targets and the potential for the mineralisation to have a vertical extent of more than 1 kilometre.”
Norris went on to say that surface soil sampling results from two of the highest-priority satellite porphyry targets were expected before the end of this year.
Ultimately, these results could further grow the potential of the project.
About El Palmar
Sunstone is acquiring a 100% interest in the El Palmar Project and currently holds 51% under a staged acquisition agreement it inked in August this year.
The project is in northern Ecuador in the vicinity of the 1-billion-tonne Llurimagua copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit.
It’s also in the same regional structural belt that hosts the 2.6-billion-tonne Alpala copper-gold deposit within the Cascabel project.
The company is also preparing to drill the high-grade Alba gold target at Bramaderos in southern Ecuador, with a five-hole, 2,000-metre program starting this weekend.
Ultimately, Sunstone maintains that it is well-funded to continue exploration at both properties, given its approximate A$19 million cash balance.