The Cercal exploration license located in coastal Alentejo province (Southern Portugal) some 110km due South of Lisbon covers a total area of 455km2. It is located within the Iberian Pyrite Belt, a prolific World-Class province of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits with several centers of historical production of copper, lead, zinc, and to a lesser extent tin, gold and silver.
Historically, there were a number of small artisanal mines at Cercal exploiting Fe-Mn, Cu, Zn-Pb, Cu-Pb-Ag until the mid 20th Century; and a modern, small-size underground mine that produced Fe-Mn oxide concentrates (with by-product barite) to supply a Portuguese steel manufacturing plant until the early 1990’s.
The license area also encloses the Salgadinho stockwork deposit, first discovered and explored by the Portuguese Government exploration department SFM between 1973 and 1979. The perception that the gold potential of this deposit was poorly investigated in the past (e.g. incomplete sampling not including gold assaying) led Colt to consider it as a gold exploration target for its exploration program.
Subsequent to the SFM discovery, the area was explored between the early 1980’s and 2008 successively by Elf-Acquitaine, Empresa Mineira da Serra do Cercal Lda, and Northern Lion Gold Corporation.
The area also encloses favourable Carboniferous volcanic and sedimentary geology for the occurrence of both massive sulphide and disseminated gold deposits. In addition to Salgadinho, several geochemical and geophysical anomalies point at other potential occurrences of gold and/or base metals.