The Constitutional Court in Ecuador recently rejected a petition to consider whether mining in the Carchi and Imbabura provinces in northern Ecuador was valid and legal. The area in question is where SolGold’s 85% owned Cascabel project and several other exploration projects are located.

In making a decision on such a question, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador follows a two-step process. First, it assesses the procedural merits of the petition and second, and only if the first test is passed, a test is performed on its form and substance. According to SolGold, the court found this petition did not pass any of the formal criteria and was therefore rejected. As a result, it did not proceed to the second set of criteria.

The Cascabel project’s Alpala deposit is located on the northern section of the Andean Copper belt. A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) announced November 2018 indicates 8.4 million metric tons (mt) of copper and 19.4 million ounces (oz) of gold contained in a 2.95-billion-mt deposit at 0.2% copper equivalent cut-off grade. The PEA suggests that the Alpala copper-gold-silver deposit has the potential to support a large-scale, low-cost underground block-cave mining operation and associated processing and project infrastructure facilities, capable of sustaining commercial production over a mine life in excess of 55 years.