TORONTO — A Canadian junior mining company says it has discovered remnants of a road in Ecuador that may have been built about 450 years ago by the Colonial Spanish to transport gold ingots from two mining centres.
Aurania Resources Ltd. says the road hidden by thick jungle was discovered by its field teams near the centre of its Lost Cities – Cutucu Project that is exploring for copper and gold in southeastern Ecuador.
It says it believes the road may be the one described in historic manuscripts from Ecuador, Peru, Spain and the Vatican that linked gold mining centres Sevilla de Oro and Logrono de los Caballeros, which were operated by the Spanish from 1565 to 1606.
The Toronto-based company’s shares rose by as much as five per cent to $3.09 on the TSX Venture Exchange before closing at $3.02, up 2.7 per cent.
Aurania CEO Keith Barron says the historical record shows gold produced at the two Equador centres was cast into crude ingots for transport to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, likely by horse or donkey along a well-travelled route from the mines.
The company says the 2.5-kilometre-long north-south road was cut by landslides at both ends. It says explorers found dressed stone along the road, which has a packed shale surface, is cut into embankments and has down-slope edges lined with blocks of shale to prevent erosion.
The company says it plans to continue to search on the ground and use a LiDAR laser survey to try to find extensions of the road.
“We do not anticipate the discovery of any ruined buildings, though the discovery of dressed stone along the trail is perhaps significant and suggests that the Spaniards attempted to build a stone Caja Real (treasury house) as they had done in other locations in Ecuador, but that the dressed stone was dropped on the road along the way,” said Barron.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2019
Companies in this story: (TSXV:ARU)
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