Divestment of the Guadalcanal Joint Venture in the Solomon Islands has resulted in Brisbane-based explorer SolGold securing ownership of the Kuma prospecting licence (PL), which is considered prospective for epithermal gold and porphyry gold-copper systems. The licence is undergoing renewal for a two year extension.
Kuma is on the main island of Guadalcanal in close proximity to the capital Honiara. Previous exploration at the site by Solomon Gold and Newmont Mining identified significant areas of alteration and anomalous gold and copper geochemistry, however this alteration has never been drilled.
SolGold’s chief executive officer Malcolm Norris says the acquisition of Kuma fits with the company’s goal of building a portfolio of high quality copper-gold opportunities within the most endowed copper-gold belts in the world.
He says an exploration program will begin once the licence renewal has been granted. “We are very pleased with this outcome. It provides exposure to a cash settlement for a portion of the JV and delivers us a highly prospective, 100% held project at no cost, supported by significant historical data and manageable within our current portfolio.”
The divestment also saw JV partners SolGold and NVL Solomon Islands enter into an agreement with Gold Ridge Mining to assist the company to secure tenure over four remaining prospecting licences for a total payment of US$494,000. Gold Ridge Mining is a subsidiary of St Barbara and operator of the only gold mine in the Solomon Islands at Gold Ridge.
SolGold is also seeking a JV partner for its other project in the Solomon Islands. The company says the partner will pursue gold and copper targets at its Fauro project which were defined in a 2011 exploration program.