Sunstone is unlocking the potential of the T2 target within its El Palmar porphyry discovery in northern Ecuador with drilling returning very thick gold-copper intersections.

The first three holes at the target returned broad gold and copper intersections from the top and the edge of the target with EPDD024 striking a 767m interval grading 0.21 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.04% copper from a down-hole depth of just 24m.

Additionally, the result includes shallow higher-grade intervals of up to 2m at 3.2g/t gold from 72m and 13.5m at 1.1g/t gold from 97.5m as well as a clear transition from high level porphyry-epithermal gold to deeper copper-gold.

Highlighting the potential scale of T2, Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) noted that geophysical modelling had shown that the target is bound by the Toachi Fault – a geological scenario very similar to the giant 3 billion tonne Alpala copper-gold porphyry deposit at SolGold’s Cascabel Project about 65km away.

Porphyry deposits are typically monstrously large and easy to mine, which more than make up for the lower grades.

Separately, drilling at the Tituana epithermal target at El Palmar has intersected an epithermal system.

“These results are highly significant. They confirm that the T2 target is mineralised, is very prospective and is very large,” managing director Malcolm Norris said.

“Independent datasets show that T2 could deliver a significant gold-copper porphyry discovery. The team at Sunstone are very excited by these recent results and look forward to drilling the target in March.

“In the meantime, we will complete the current program at the Tituana epithermal target, where we have drilled an epithermal system that is mineralised. Assay results from the first three holes are expected in late March.”

Developing porphyry target

Surface rock chip sampling had defined the T2 target, located east of the El Palmar T1 porphyry system, over an area of at least 220m by 50m.

While the rock chip samples were consistently mineralised with an average grade of 0.4g/t gold and 0.1% copper in strong porphyry stockwork, six of the samples returned more than 1g/t gold, which is encouragingly very high for porphyry systems.

Soil sampling at T2 has also defined a significant and coherent gold-copper-molybdenum anomaly coincident with an extensive alteration cap while geophysical surveying defined a conductive body coincident with the surface metal anomalism and recent drilling results.

This body plunges, expands and intensifies southward for a further 800m where it abuts the regional Toachi Fault zone.

Continued El Palmar copper-gold hits

Drilling at the T1 target at El Palmar also continues to intersect copper-gold with hole EPDD021 intersecting 866.6m grading 0.26g/t gold and 0.1% copper from surface including 24m at 0.39g/t gold and 0.19% copper from 45.5m and 11.25m at 0.81g/t gold and 0.2% copper from 501m.

This result confirms the significant vertical extent of mineralisation at T1 which requires follow-up drilling.

3D geological modelling is being undertaken at T1 based on the 21 drill holes completed to date and follow-up drilling will be planned to target mineralisation in the down plunge extent.




This article was developed in collaboration with Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM), a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.