Special Report: Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) managing director Malcolm Norris and his team believe they are on the cusp of an exploration hattrick.

The team is already credited with finding the SolGold Cascabel and Intrepid Mining’s Tujuh Bukit deposits, which have made many hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. Norris can now smell another major find at Sunstone’s Bramaderos project in Ecuador.

The highly-regarded but under-stated geologist says the latest drilling results show Sunstone is closing in on a large gold-copper porphyry system at Bramaderos Main with grades which mirror those in some of the world’s most profitable porphyry deposits.

If his instinct proves correct  – again – Sunstone shareholders could be in for a very big pay day.

At its current share price of 2.5c, the company has a market capitalisation of just $30m – just a fraction of the $1 billion market cap now enjoyed by his previous exploration success story, SolGold.

Norris says while the assays of 1 gram per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.2 per cent copper appear low compared with conventional Australian deposits, they are in line with those at leading gold-copper porphyry deposits such as Newcrest’s Cadia mine in NSW and its recently-acquired Red Chris deposit in British Columbia.

And when combined with the big intersections – mineralisation was recorded over widths of 55m and more – Norris is, by his own admission, “very bullish” about what Sunstone is onto.

“These are very good results and support our optimistic view of Bramaderos Main,” Norris says.

“We are firmly on the path to delivering an outcropping porphyry gold-copper system of attractive grade and scale.

“We have only drilled two holes at the Bramaderos Main target and yet we are delivering significant grades and widths that have the potential to deliver a sizeable gold-copper system extending from surface outcrop to at least 400m below surface, and with opportunity to have a lateral extent well beyond 500m x 250m.”

Norris says his “bullish” view of the discovery potential at Bramaderos is also underpinned by the results of Sunstone’s latest review of the geology, surface geochemistry and geophysics data.

“While still in its infancy, the exploration program at Bramaderos has delivered some extremely promising results,” he says.

“The grades and potential scale of the porphyry gold-copper systems are in line with our expectations at this very early stage of exploration.

“At Bramaderos Main we are defining a large gold-copper porphyry system and within that are domains of very compelling grades and widths.

“We also have multiple other targets such as Limon that are undergoing drill testing as well. And we are eagerly awaiting the start of drilling at the high-grade West Zone epithermal gold target.”

At Limon, two holes have been drilled and indicate close proximity to a porphyry system, and a third hole is in progress now, so the target zone should be intersected in September.

“A major flaw in exploration by some companies for porphyry deposits around the world is that they are ‘under-drilled’,” Norris says.

“These are very big deposits, but they are easy to miss if the drilling is not well thought out and reviewed with each new phase of information.

“Tujuh Bukit was a classic example – it’s more than 2 billion tonnes and extends over an area 2km x 1km, and yet the first hole drilled missed the orebody by 100m!

“How do you miss a body 2km x 1km by 100m? It happens and we have to be very careful with our drill planning and persevere.”

Drilling is set to start at West Zone in the next week or so and is being keenly awaited by investors because of the high gold grades recorded in surface trenching.

“West Zone is a very different prospect to the porphyry targets we have been drilling to date,” Norris says.

“Surface trenching alone delivered grades of 6g/t, so we are really looking forward to the start of drilling there. We are drilling under trenches that delivered 7m at 13g/t in breccias and individual samples returning up to 50g/t.

“That’s exciting, to say the least!”


This story was developed in collaboration with Sunstone Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.