Aurania Resources has announced that it will start drilling and exploration at its Lost Cities-Cutucu copper project in southeastern Ecuador.
The planned drilling program will start in Q3 2020, the miner said in a statement, adding that the company had already found grades of up to 10pc copper with 131 grams per tonne (g/t) silver in the Tsenken A target area of the Lost Cities-Cutucu project.
The firm did not disclose estimated copper volumes that could be extracted after the drilling program.
The Lost Cities- Cutucu project is located in the eastern foothills of the Andes mountain range of southeastern Ecuador.
On May 26, Aurania Resources had said it was exploring the possibility of extending its Lost Cities- Cutucu project into Peru for copper and gold extraction.
At the end of May, Ecuador allowed miners to resume operations after mining activity was halted for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ecuadorian government estimates that after the restarts, mineral exports could reach between $642mn and $1.1bn this year. The resumption is also expected to restore 33,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs.
The mining industry is one of the most important economic activities in Ecuador, which will represent about 4pc of GDP in 2021, according to the country’s government data.