SolGold publishes highly anticipated PFS for Cascabel project in Ecuador

LSE and TSX-listed SolGold has published a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador which confirms its ‘world class, Tier 1 potential’, according to the company.

Key highlights from the eagerly anticipated study include an estimated US$2.9 billion after-tax NPV with a 19.3% IRR and a 4.7 year payback period from the start of processing. However, the company noted that the after-tax NPV would be $4.1 billion with a 23.4% IRR at current spot commodity prices.

The PFS estimates average annual production of 132,000 tonnes of copper, 358,000 ounces of gold and 1 million ounces of silver (212,000 tonnes copper equivalent), with peak copper production of 210,000 tonnes per annum.

The initial project life-of-mine AISC of $0.06 per pound of copper places Cascabel well within the first decile of the copper industry cost curve. Pre-production capital expenditure for the initial cave development, first process plant module and infrastructure has been estimated at $2.7 billion.

SolGold sees a potential mine life upside in excess of 50 years following the initial life-of-mine. A definitive feasibility study is planned for completion in the second half of 2023.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the results of the pre-feasibility study for the proposed Cascabel mine in Ecuador,” said SolGold’s managing director and CEO Darryl Cuzzubbo.

“In essence, it supports what we have believed all along – that this project is no ordinary mining asset. Cascabel will be a significant, multi-decade and very low cost producer of copper that can help enable Ecuador’s emergence as the next copper frontier at a time when the world needs copper the most as we transition to a net zero carbon emissions future.”