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.