Sunstone Metals says its T3 target at the El Palmar gold-copper project in northern Ecuador is emerging as a ‘significant’ porphyry discovery. 

Assays from drill hole EPDD026 at T3 has intersected a strongly mineralised porphyry gold-copper system at depth – at gold and copper widths and grades in line with other prominent porphyry deposits globally.

Results include:

  • A higher grade zone of 11.9m at 0.97g/t gold and 0.28% copper for 1.43g/t AuEq from 1,236m; and
  • Discrete intervals of 2m of up to 0.35% copper and 1.3g/t gold, from 1,240m within the higher-grade zone of 11.9m.
  • Both within 190m at 0.4g/t gold and 0.11% copper for 0.58g/t AuEq from 1,171m down-hole

Mineralisation is open in all directions and geophysics have revealed multiple highly ranked drill targets.

The company says the clustering of deposits that are being discovered on the El Palmar property within the Eocene belt gives it strong cause to believe that the El Palmar deposits will be regionally significant.

Potentially a very large mineralised system

Importantly, the T3 target is roughly circular and measures 1km in diameter and is part of a cluster of gold-copper porphyry systems which extends over 2.3km.

And the target sits within the broad Toachi fault zone which is a key control on mineralisation at SolGold’s 3Bt Alpala copper-gold porphyry deposit just 65km away, and 15km away from Codelco’s 1Bt Llurimagua copper-molybdenum deposit.

“This area is wide open – we should expect mineralisation above this intersection extending towards surface, in addition to mineralisation below this intersection and laterally within a 1km diameter target,” Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) MD Malcolm Norris said.

“That is potentially a very large, mineralised area in an environment with many similarities to the 3Bt Alpala deposit nearby.”


Location of the T3 anomaly relative to other targets T1, T2 and T5. Pic: Supplied (STM)

Following up drilling underway

Follow-up drill hole EPDD028 is in progress, testing the up-dip potential and has intersected some chalcopyrite from 224m down-hole.

“Further drilling will obviously be aimed at testing the multiple discrete and shallower high amplitude magnetic anomalies within the T3 area, and ultimately the deeper magnetic and MT anomalies,” Norris said.

“It is early days on the El Palmar concession but the potential here is huge.

“We see multiple porphyry systems, mineralisation extending from surface to depths exceeding 1,100m and grades locally exceeding 1g/t AuEq (or greater than 0.6g/t gold and greater than 0.2% copper).

“We believe we are onto a significant discovery at T3 that could deliver significant value uplift to Sunstone shareholders.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Sunstone Metals Limited, 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.