Lundin Gold Inc. is pleased to announce that it has begun an exploration drill program at the El Puma target. El Puma is located approximately 12 kilometres ("km") south of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador, within the Suarez pull-apart basin, see Figure 1. Under the program, expected to be completed in early 2018, Lundin Gold has planned 4,000 metres of diamond drilling.
"Follow up drill testing at this prospective target is being led by Steve Leary, the former Exploration Manager of Aurelian Resources, Inc.," said Ron Hochstein, President and CEO of Lundin Gold. "We have brought together most of the original Aurelian exploration team that was part of the initial discovery of Fruta del Norte, which is critical given the complex nature of these deposits."
Soil sampling and two drill holes completed during Lundin Gold's 2016 exploration drilling campaign indicate that El Puma has a similar epithermal geochemical signature to Fruta del Norte, primarily the epithermal pathfinder elements arsenic and antimony and alteration within the Basin's sediments, which is interpreted to be associated with a buried epithermal system.
The Basin hosts Fruta del Norte at the northern end and was originally extended eight km south of Fruta del Norte; however, drilling and mapping carried out by the Company in 2016 doubled the Basin's length to 16 km. The Company considers the Basin to be highly prospective as the epithermal ore forming conditions present at Fruta del Norte are interpreted to potentially occur elsewhere within the Basin.