Why Rinehart, Forrest, BHP and Newcrest are sweet on Ecuador – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – March 25, 2019)


The mining executive who prepared the ground for a tenement tug-of-war between BHP and Newcrest in Ecuador is convinced a lot more copper and gold will be found in the exploration hot spot.

Malcolm Norris, who secured the Cascabel tenement a decade ago while calling the shots at SolGold, said it was no surprise that Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting had also taken a shine to Ecuador.

Mr Norris, now the chief executive of ASX-listed junior explorer Sunstone Metals and chasing the third major copper-gold discovery of his career, said Cascabel might turn out to be big enough for both BHP and Newcrest. “I think it is a very big system and the resource that have been drilled so far, that’s not the end of the story. There’s more to come, I’m sure,” he said.

His comments came amid an increasing ugly spat between London-listed, Brisbane-based SolGold, whose major shareholders include Newcrest at 15.2 per cent and BHP at 11 per cent, and Toronto-listed Cornerstone Capital over Cascabel ownership.

Copper has long been a key ingredient for many industrial processes, but demand has been especially strengthened by the rise of both renewable energy and electric vehicles.

For the rest of this column: https://www.afr.com/business/mining/copper/why-rinehart-forrest-bhp-and-newcrest-are-sweet-on-ecuador-20190324-p516yv

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