Newly acquired Fortuna copper project in Ecuador shows great promise
Lucky Minerals acquired 100% of the 550 square kilometre Fortuna property in Ecuador in mid-2018.
The property is comprised of 12 contiguous mineral concessions located 50 kilometres south of Cuenca, the capital of Azuay province, and 40 kilometres from numerous multi-million ounce gold and copper deposits, including Lundin Gold’s Fruta Del Norte project and China National Rail’s Mirado project.
The consideration was a total of 21mln Lucky shares, subject to various lock-ins and restrictions.
Exploration results highlight significant upside in Ecuador
Less than 1% of the Fortuna concession area has been explored, although the project lies in a highly mineralised district.
So far the company has identified significant hydrothermal alteration and breccias on site, with copper oxides and molybdenum present. The mineralisation will, in theory, support copper-gold porphyry systems.
There’s also the strong potential that the ground will host epithermal gold deposits, given that several large caldera-like structures up to seven kilometres in diameter have been identified.
Historic work revealed many high stream sediment anomalies that showed up to 10.5 grams per tonne gold, and anomalous gold values in rock and soil sampling.
What’s more, on a wider scale, Landsat ETM+ imagery has identified more than thirty exploration targets across six main major fault orientations.
Good infrastructure will help with economics
The project is well located, with access via the Pan American highway and secondary all-weather roads to the property border. There is also a power line within 10 kilometres of the property border, abundant water available for exploration, and a readily available workforce nearby.
Ecuador is emerging as a mining-friendly jurisdiction
Ecuador established a mining ministry in 2015 to encourage mining investment in the country. Since then the significant involvement of several majors has been testament to an improvement in the geopolitical environment.
Foreign exchange controls were eliminated in January 2016, and in 2017 Ecuador was named “Country of the Year” at Toronto’s Mines & Money Show.
Emigrant Project, Montana
Meanwhile in Montana, Lucky has ground in a historic mining area near Livingston, Montana, served by major roads and with rail, power and water nearby.
This area is recognised by the US Geological Survey as one of the world’s giant porphyry systems, where intrusions with deep structures provide conduits for mineralizing fluids within favourable host rocks.
Historic drilling and airborne studies indicate the presence of a large mineralized porphyry system with a broad gold-copper and gold silver halo and a molybdenum.
Comparable analogues include New Gold's New Afton mine, Aurico Metals' Kemess underground project, Codelco's El Teniente mine and Northern Dynasty's Pebble East deposit.
Prior drill results highlight the potential
83 holes totalling 12,874 metres have already been drilled within the Emigrant district, but these have only tested a small portion of the entire system and focused on shallow open pit mineable targets.
Among the highlights of the drill results returned from Emigrant were 132 metres grading 2.1 grams per tonne gold, 7.6 metres grading 88.4 grams per tonne gold and 50 metres grading 14.37 grams.
To date, the underground gold-copper-molybdenum porphyry targets remain untested. However, nine mineralized breccia pipes have been identified from outcrops and shallow drilling.
Recent funding means exploration work can continue apace
A C$2.875mln bough deal closed in early October, and the new money will be put towards exploration across Lucky’s portfolio.