The company said the feature was interpreted as a very old road, but required field verification by a qualified and Ecuador-registered archeologist as soon as the COVID-19-related restrictions were lifted in the company's Lost Cities-Cutucu project area.
Aurania believes the road may have been used to transport gold ingots from the lost city of Sevilla de Oro to the other gold mining centre Logrono de los Caballeros, which the Colonial Spanish operated between about 1565 and 1606.
The company used LiDAR imagery in the central part of the project area, uncovering evidence of the ancient road beneath thick jungle cover.
Chairman and CEO Dr Keith Barron said the 2.5km road segment found late last year was currently being evaluated by an archaeologist and the National Institute of Cultural Heritage of Ecuador, suggesting it was exactly the kind of historical mining infrastructure the team was looking for in refining its gold-copper drill targets.
"We are making good use of our time during the COVID-related shutdown to take a very close look at our LiDAR data and integrate it with our large geophysics and geochemistry databases," said Barron.
Exploration by Aurania will continue over strong indications of a mineralised system near the road which are focused on an extensive area of quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration, which is typically found over and adjacent to porphyry systems.
Aurania has prepared a draft ‘Back to Work' protocol for review by the Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources ministry, to be implemented when COVID-related restrictions are lifted in the Morona Santiago province, but detailed timing of a normalised work situation is not yet clear.
Aurania shares (ARU:TSX) closed up 6% on Friday at C$3.34, capitalising the company at $135 million (US$97 million). The stock is up 55% in the past month.