El Palmar is located in the Western Cordillera of Ecuador. The basement rocks comprise the Pallatanga terrain and are composed of Cretaceous oceanic crust, overlaid by turbiditic sequences. This basement is overlain by tertiary volcanic rocks, and sedimentary rocks from marginal basins referred to as the Macuchi terrain. Regional NE-SW faults represent the boundaries between the main lithotectonic units and include the Toachi and Pallatanga faults. Miocene intrusions outcrop within and along these domain boundaries.
The Toachi fault is interpreted to have influenced the location of porphyry-style mineralisation, including Chical- Maldonado, Alpala (2.6Bt @ 0.37% Cu and 0.25 g/t Au), Cuellaje, Llurimagua (Junin) (982 Mt @ 0.89% Cu, 0.04% Mo) and El Corazón. The age of mineralization at Llurimagua and Cuellaje projects is interpreted to be late Miocene.
Locally at El Palmar the sedimentary rocks of the Mulaute Formation have been intruded by quartz-diorites belonging to the Apuela batholith. A later phase of diorite and dacitic porphyry intrusions have been identified and may be related to mineralization. Undifferentiated andesitic volcanic rocks have been identified in the northern part of the project.