Tim Treadgold has been writing about the mining and oil industries for more than 40 years.
Ecuador has not been at the top of anyone’s investment list for some time thanks to its aggressive treatment of the U.S. oil major, Chevron, and its provision of a bolt-hole in London for wanted Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, but if recent mineral exploration news is as good as it appears the country could soon be the center of a copper rush.
Ironically, given Assange’s home in Ecuador’s London Embassy, the copper news is appearing first in London where a small explorer called SolGold has its stock exchange listing.
Early yesterday SolGold updated the market on its work at the Alpala project in the north of Ecuador and while investors yawned it was one of the most significant items of exploration news for several years.
A Tier-One Find
What SolGold has discovered, and work is far from complete, is what miners call a tier-one copper asset, a discovery containing at least 6.1 million tons of copper and 16.2 million ounces of gold. If financial markets around the world were not being heavily sold off there is no doubt that SolGold shares would have done better than their 4.4% rise yesterday to 37.6 pence (48 cents).
What’s happening on the London stock exchange is only one part of the complex SolGold story, starting with the fact that it is actually an Australian company and that two of Australia’s biggest miners have been jockeying for a leadership position on the SolGold share register.