Solaris Resources has announced a significant new development at their flagship Warintza operation in southeast Ecuador. It was just two months ago that newly appointed CEO and President Daniel Earle, only a month in the captain’s chair, announced the start of the first drill hole in the Warintza West area and the first outside Warintza Central. These, along with Warintza South and East, comprise the Warintza Project near Ecuador’s border with Peru. Earle, a former Bay Street analyst known for his acumen in mining matters exploratory and developmental, rose to prominence through 17 years in mining and capital markets. This latest announcement shows he has hit the ground running, piloting the Vancouver-based miner through the tricky Ecuadorean waters of politics, regulations, indigenous community relations, environmental conservation, economic challenges and a pandemic that has all but hamstrung the small Andean nation.
In its February 16th press release, the company said the West drill site, called SLSW-01, targeted surface geochemistry and “returned a long interval of copper porphyry mineralization, marking a significant new discovery on the Warintza Project.” It also released the findings of its first detailed geophysical survey. The survey, conducted by Geotech, Ltd., covered an area of 268km2 using the latest technology: airborne ZTEM. Z-Tipper Axis Electromagnetic technology measures variations in electromagnetic fields to a theoretical depth of two kilometers. Sub-surface rock containing conductive materials like copper or nickel will appear as an anomaly in the surrounding land readings. However, unlike other EM technologies, ZTEM does not generate electromagnetic waves but simply reads existing, naturally-occurring EM waves. It is nonintrusive, environmentally-friendly exploration. The survey is performed by a helicopter towing a 7-meter receiving loop at an altitude of 100m.
The survey “revealed a much more extensive porphyry system than previously understood”, said Solaris, showing “a continuous high-conductivity volume encompassing Warintza Central, Warintza East and Warintza West … with approximate dimensions of 3.5km long x 1km wide x 1km deep.” Additionally, a previously unknown target was identified about 850 meters east of the Warintza East anomaly, and nicknamed “Yawi.”
In making the announcement, Mr. Earle said they were delighted to discover “the geophysics revealing a much more extensive porphyry system than previously recognized.” He added that such were the implications of these data that Solaris was doubling its resource growth and discovery drill program from six to 12 rigs.