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ECR Minerals #ECR CEO Craig Brown interview with StockBox Media

Craig Brown, CEO of ECR Minerals #ECR talks to StockBox Media and updates on progress at Bailieston and Creswick projects. Craig discusses the proposed drilling programme at Bailieston using the company’s newly acquired diamond drilling rig, and explains how this will provide flexibility and strategic advantages for the company.

Monetary Stimulus = Currency Devaluation = Increasing Gold Demand

As the world starts to emerge from the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis, the implications for the unprecedented monetary stimulus measures employed by Governments around the globe to support citizens in lockdown are becoming ever clearer.

As stock markets roar back from the coronavirus-led rout, advisers to the world’s wealthy are urging them to hold more gold, questioning the strength of the rally and the long-term impact of global central banks’ cash splurge, Reuters writers commented.

In a note for Kitco News, Allen Sykora noted Gold had started a new week on firmer footing amid worries about the rising number of COVID-19 cases. “The price of gold jumped to its highest in more than a month this morning ($1,757), after surging coronavirus cases heightened concerns over a delay in global economic recovery,” said a research note from commodities brokerage SP Angel. Analysts cited news reports showing that while social distancing in March and April slowed the spread of the virus, reopening in a number of U.S. states and European nations has coincided with a new wave of infections.

Commerzbank believes the U.S. economic recovery is “hanging in the balance” with a likelihood of “increasing calls for the U.S. government to implement further stimulus measures, especially as [Federal Reserve Chair Jerome] Powell had already called for more fiscal stimulus during his virtual testimony before the U.S. Congress last week,” Commerzbank also believes the U.S. Fed is “likely to keep the pedal to the metal – i.e. to expand its balance sheet”… and thus the issue of currency debasement/inflation ..”will remain high in the minds of market participants.”

Geologists speculating with fees for professional services

This ‘pedal to the metal’ approach to monetary easing and the conseqential strength in gold continues to drive investor interest in junior gold explorers. Increasingly this sector is seeing mining geologists taking fees for their work in shares as well as cash, as armed with knowledge and experience, a successful drilling campaign can have a transformational effect the valuations of small cap explorers with quality projects, meaning that professional fees can potentially multiply in value. The majority of small mining companies however only have one or two key projects in their asset portfolio, so micro-cap explorers that own a broad spread of assets are particularly sought after.

AIM listed ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) is firmly in the latter category. The company 100% owns the Bailieston and Creswick projects in Central Victoria, Australia, and also has financial interests in the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor projects following the sale of those licenses, detailed below. In addition ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project in the north of the Philippinesand and holds a net smelter royalty on the SLM gold project in Argentina.


Creswick has long been viewed as a potential pivot project for ECR after the highest grade duplicate result of 80.97 g/t gold came from a 1 metre interval that originally assayed 44.63 g/t, confirming the original findings announced on 8 May 2019. Referred to by ECR as ‘nuggety gold mineralisation’, a study by pre-eminent consulting geochemist Dr Dennis Arne, whose experience includes extensive consultancy at the highly successful Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria, underlined the significant gold exploration potential at Creswick


Bailieston is also at the centre of the current gold exploration boom in Victoria, located close to the highly successful Fosterville mine owned by Kirkland Lake Gold. The project potential was underlined by the arrival of mining giant Newmont Exploration with a license application for ground immediately to the north of ECR’s Black Cat prospect. The Fosterville mine is located approximately 50km west of the Bailieston project.

Flagship Projects Set to Deliver Value

The focus on Creswick and Bailieston prompted the board decision in April 2020 to sell three further Victoria licences (the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration projects) to TSX-V listed Fosterville South Exploration Ltd for an upfront cash payment of A$500,000, plus additional potential of a further A$2 million based on resource estimates and gold production.

This, added to the two recent R&D cash refunds and the GB£500,000 placing at 0.5p mean that ECR are fully funded and ready to spend on further developing the two flagship assets.

And with external parties currently reviewing data on the Bailieston and Creswick gold projects with a view to potential commercial transactions and joint venture opportunities, the ECR board believes that both projects “hold considerable potential and inherent value for the Company.”

Currently valued at just GB£3.9m, there are great expectations for ECR in the coming months despite the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown. Given the compelling backdrop in the Gold market and the ‘pedal to the metal’approach to monetary easing by Governments around the world, ECR shareholders could be set for a bonanza if Creswick and Bailieston come good.


Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-gold-wealth-analys/worlds-ultra-wealthy-go-for-gold-amid-stimulus-bonanza-idUSKBN23P253

Kitco: https://www.kitco.com/news/2020-06-22/Gold-prices-trade-to-one-month-high-on-COVID-19-concerns-analysts.html?sitetype=fullsite




ECR Minerals #ECR – Australian Gold – Business Update

ECR Minerals plc (LON:ECR), the precious metals exploration and development company, is pleased to provide a business update for shareholders covering the Company’s Australian gold interests.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer commented: “During the summer months the ECR team have been heads down and working hard across multiple areas of the business and we expect to be able to provide multiple updates in respect of field exploration and corporate development activities across our business in the near future.

“Given the extent of activities and to keep shareholders informed we felt it would be opportune to provide an update of the key areas of progress, notably in respect of the Company’s Western Australia Windidda gold project and also in respect of progress at Creswick gold project which is within our large and strategic landholding in the heart of the Victoria Goldfields and where the Company has highly active operations.”


Windidda Gold Project (Western Australia)

  • The Company’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary has submitted applications over 1,600 sq km of the Yilgarn Craton as announced on 2 January 2019;
  • The application process is progressing, with all 9 exploration licence applications having now been advertised in line with local requirements;
  • The Company is closely monitoring the tenement application process, which is being handled through a local tenement management consultant;
  • ECR has been approached by a listed mineral exploration company seeking to farm into the project, and although we have not decided to proceed with this farm-in proposal at this time, we are encouraged to see the interest being shown by third parties at such an early stage.

Creswick Gold Project (Victoria)

  • Whole-of-bag testing process has now been completed successfully and remaining samples have been sent to the laboratory for assay testing;
  • Partial assay results released on 27 August 2019 demonstrated a substantial increase in gold grade on average in respect of the 17 samples tested;
  • A further 113 samples, which for completeness included samples believed to be of lower grade, have been sent to the laboratory for assay testing with results expected to be received in the near future.

Other Gold Projects (Victoria)

The Company is highly proactive across its Victorian Goldfields projects, with the current key activities summarised below.

Blue Moon Prospect, Bailieston Gold Project

  • Following a reverse circulation drilling programme at Blue Moon prospect resulting in gold grades of up to 17.87g/t ECR formally announced a new gold discovery on 1 May 2019. Blue Moon is a flagship project for the Company and we are working to agree access with landowners to enable us to continue drilling to the west where our work indicates gold mineralisation may intensify.

HR3 Area, Bailieston Gold Project

  • Preparation of a detailed 3D geological model for the HR3 area has been undertaken over the summer months and is nearing completion. When complete the model is expected to generate numerous high priority drilling targets.

Henry’s Hill Gold Prospect – Avoca Project

  • Geological mapping and soil geochemistry has been completed in line with the Company’s announcement of 14 August 2019 with approximately 200 samples collected during the field exploration. Geochemical analysis of the samples is to be undertaken shortly.

Timor Gold Project

  • On 6 August 2019 the Company announced the results of rock chip sampling with grades of up to 22.6 g/t. The data gathered from the rock chip sampling programme, together with historic exploration data, has confirmed the prospectivity of the Timor gold project and the Company is now reviewing a potential drill programme over the key target areas.


The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 (MAR). Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service (RIS), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.


ECR Minerals plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010

David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman

Craig Brown, Director & CEO

Email: info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com

WH Ireland Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)161 832 2174

Nominated Adviser

Katy Mitchell/James Sinclair-Ford

SI Capital Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)1483 413500


Nick Emerson


ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited has 100% ownership of the Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration licences in central Victoria, Australia and the Windidda Gold Project in the Yilgarn Region, Western Australia.

ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. An NI43-101 technical report was completed in respect of the Danglay project in December 2015 and is available for download from ECR’s website.

ECR’s wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining has 100% ownership of the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near-term production.

Time to Fillyaboots with ECR Minerals (AIM:ECR) as Victoria Gold Projects continue to evolve and gold attracts record investments.

Time to Fillyaboots with ECR Minerals (AIM:ECR) as Victoria Gold Projects continue to evolve and gold attracts record investments.  

  • High grade assays at Timor
  • Exploration underway at Avoca
  • Whole of bag testing results at Creswick
  • Record breaking month for gold
  • Time to Fillyaboots

 For those keen on regular progress updates, Australia-focussed mining company ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) hits the mark by keeping investors up to date with their every move on Twitter. Of late, the three major developments over August at Timor, Avoca and Creswick projects have focussed attention, driven as much as anything by the rising demand for gold amid dwindling macroeconomic conditions.

1) High grade assay results demonstrate potential for Timor Gold Project to follow in the footsteps of Maryborough goldfield

The first of these was an impressive set of rock chip sampling results at the Timor project, which gave ECR investors plenty to smile about at the beginning of the month.

High grade gold assays of 22.6 g/t and 26.3 g/t were recorded respectively from Shaw’s Reef and Anglo-Saxon Reef prospects.

Mined to 152m depth, ECR revealed that Shaw’s Reef had produced 11,465 ounces at a grade of 20.93 g/t Au. Meanwhile, four samples from the Anglo-Saxon Reef averaged 8.12 g/t Au.

Not bad eh? Well on top of that, the reconnaissance had also “discovered the Brilliant / Northumbria reef and its extensive gold workings, including an old open cut” ..according to CEO Craig Brown.

“This prospect area extends over a length of approximately 500m and is up to 80m wide and assays from 13 samples indicate widespread low-grade gold mineralisation.”

These results indicate that Timor may well follow on from the historical success of the Maryborough Goldfield.

Maryborough, which lies within the area covered by the Timor license, previously produced over 640,000 ounces of gold from hard-rock and alluvial sources, with 220,000 ounces mined from hard-rock operations at an average grade of 14g/t gold.

Northumbria Reef open cut

2) Avoca Exploration Underway

In addition to Timor, there was plenty of news forthcoming from ECR’s other Victoria sites. On the 14th of August the Company announced it had begun exploration at Henry’s Hill within the Avoca gold project license area.

The company now has active exploration works underway at four projects within the Victorian goldfields region, including Bailieston, Creswick, Timor and now Avoca.

“We are delighted to be highly active in the Victoria Goldfields region, at a time when the area is attracting considerable interest from larger companies and investors” commented Craig Brown.

Previously seven samples have been taken from the roadside reserve at Henry’s Hill, with three of these returning 5.1, 1.4 and 1.3 g/t gold.

With land access permission secured from the landowner and ever keen to keep the ball rolling, ECR will be commencing soil geochemistry and field mapping imminently.

3) Whole of bag testing results at Creswick:

Now for Creswick, the one we’ve all been waiting on. This is ECR’s strategic priority, with potential to be a multi-million ounce gold deposit.

Craig Brown and his team have been quick to try to progress the project and understand the impact of the nuggety nature of it’s gold deposits – conducting whole-of-bag testing in order to gain more representative results than from the original 2 kg assays.

Despite delays due to inclement weather at Victoria, ECR were happy to announce that work was underway and generating important results from the gravity and electrostatic concentration (GEC) of gold process, constructed under the guidance of the highly accredited resource geologist Keith Whitehouse.

GEC uses the dual processes of gravity and chargeability, which not only sounds rather impressive, but is capable of removing coarse, fine and ultrafine particles of gold from the RC samples.

According to Craig Brown.. “the results so far have demonstrated significant variability from the original assays, demonstrating that the small sample size can overstate and understate results.”

“Notably the original 44.63 g/t assay from the 2 kg sample from CSR006 (15-16 m) is increased to 63.03 g/t.”

To help support the process, ECR have appointed mining geologist and geometallurgist Dr Simon Dominy. With over 25 years’ experience Dr Dominy looks to be the man to help ECR evaluate their results, review the sampling process and guide future exploration & project development work at Creswick.

Gold sets record breaking highs

From a timing standpoint, ECR have hit the metaphorical bullseye considering the rapid rise in demand for safe-haven gold. Investors ploughed almost $5bn into the precious metal in August amid ongoing trade tensions and diminishing macroeconomic conditions, taking it to its highest level since April 2013.

Prices have remained high moving into September, with levels closing at US$1,551 a troy ounce on Wednesday the 4th of September. Analysts see no sign of prices dipping either.

Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) have said that US gold prices could be set for new record highs. Meanwhile Goldman Sachs upgraded its 6-month gold forecast at the beginning of August to $1,600 an ounce as trade tensions continue to escalate.

According to BI senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone:

“The dollar price of gold is on far more stable ground than it was about a decade ago. Some combination of sustained greenback strength and rapid stock-market appreciation should be necessary to suppress the metal’s price … Bottoming with the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hike in 2015, the gold price appears to be situated for brighter days,” McGlone said in a September update.

Worsening economic data and the fast approaching Brexit deadline have also pushed the price of gold in British Pounds and Euros to new record highs.

The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce was up more than 50% from the eve of the UK’s vote to leave the EU back in June 2016, hitting £1279 on Tuesday the 3rd of September.

Time to Fillyaboots

All said, while ECR could be accused of being slightly trigger happy with their posts on Twitter, the reality is that the company have a lot to talk about.

As well as gold’s strength, with active exploration underway at four sites in Victoria and with nine exploration licences in the highly prospective Yilgarn region, ECR Minerals are certainly a company worth your attention if you’re looking to join the gold rush.

Each month the company continues to materially progress its projects, with August no exception. Timor’s high grade assay results give plenty of hope, putting a solid floor under the Company valuation, whilst recent exploration at Avoca demonstrates yet again that ECR are not resting on their laurels.

Finally, and of most importance thorough testing appears to be fully underway at Creswick, meaning ECR are moving ever closer to understanding the true value of their potential multi million ounce gold deposit. And with a market cap at just GBP3.5m, there has never been a better time to fillyaboots with this ambitious gold explorer.

By Harry Dacres-Dixon



Gold Prices To Hit $1,575 In 3 Months, $1,600 In 6 Months – Goldman Sachs

Gold prices to pick off U.S. dollar high next – Bloomberg Intelligence

Investors pile into gold as trade conflict rumbles on

Gold Price Hits Fresh UK and Euro Highs as Brexit Rebels Fight No.10, German Factories Prepare for ‘No Deal’

ECR Minerals #ECR – High Grade Gold Assays – Timor Gold Project – Australia

ECR Minerals #ECR – Exploration Commences at Henry’s Hill – Avoca Gold Project – Australia

ECR Minerals plc (ECR) Progress Update – Creswick Gold Project Australia

ECR Minerals Victoria Goldfields projects set to take flight 

  • Creswick a strategic priority
  • Golden Nuggets
  • Foot on the pedal at Timor Gold Project
  • Time to jump on board

AIM Listed Australia-focussed mining company ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) now has active exploration and development works underway at three projects within the Victorian goldfields region, including Bailieston, Creswick and Timor. 

Developments in June and July have ensured that investors remain firmly focussed on progress thanks to a raft of exciting announcements from both Creswick and Timor projects.

Creswick a strategic priority, with potential to host multi-million ounce gold deposit

ECR Minerals Creswick gold project is evolving quickly, with ECR looking to rapidly advance the project to a JORC compliant resource.  

ECR’s CEO Craig Brown said the company will be “allocating resources to this project in a prioritised manner” with internal modelling suggesting that Dimocks Main Shale..”is large enough to potentially host a multi-million ounce gold deposit”

There is plenty of long standing geological and anecdotal evidence supporting this view. The Dimocks Main Shale (DMS), a 15km-long geological feature containing a vast amount of alluvial and deep lead gold, has been historically responsible for contributing a large proportion of gold production in the Victoria region. And it just so happens that approximately 7km of ECR’s Creswick licences and applications incorporate the DMS feature. 

Back in February ECR completed 1,687 metres of reverse circulation drilling, which targeted multiple quartz vein orientations. Results in May reportedly exceeded expectations, with quartz identified in over a third of the ground drilled.

Golden Nuggets

However, it was the ‘nuggetty’ nature of gold mineralisation at the site which grabbed the Company’s attention. It is now thought that the ‘nuggety’ gold mineralisation could have dramatically increased the likelihood of understated assays in ECR’s samples to date, with the chance of capturing a gold nugget in any drilled meter smaller as the nuggets size increases. 

To help provide a clearer picture, ECR announced on the 11th June that they would be significantly ramping up their assessment, particularly given the strong possibility that coarse gold was missed from previously assayed 2kg samples from a 30kg bag.

In line with advice from tendering laboratories, ECR have devised a structured approach to systematically test 640 sample bags (each close to 30 kg). 

Bags found to contain metal will be removed from site for “whole-of-bag” testing. ECR stated that the process will now incorporate multiple steps, including sieving, detecting, gold particle analysis, gravity concentration and assaying to determine the size distribution and grade of the coarse and fine gold within the sample. 

The Company has every reason to be hopeful. On May 8th, a sample bag trial demonstrated gold of 11.8 g/t from whole-of-bag gravity concentration, some 528% greater than the 1.88 g/t gold returned from assay of the initial 2kg sub-sample.

“Creswick is a unique project and the assessment of in-situ gold mineralisation requires bespoke project management and technical application”, said Craig Brown.

“I am delighted that our first metal detecting of bags has already highlighted metal content, which we expect is reflective of nugget gold mineralisation as samples from depth are unlikely to contain other detectable metals.”

CEO site visit

As Creswick continued to make rapid progress, Craig Brown visited the site in June.

He commented; “Subject to the ongoing results of our work, and assuming positive exploration outcomes, we are seeking to rapidly advance Creswick toward a JORC compliant resource.”

JORC is a professional code of practice that sets minimum standards for Public Reporting of minerals Exploration Results.

In the same announcement on June 21st, ECR revealed that in a bid to get the project into full flight, the Company have rented a large aircraft hangar and house in Nagambie for the sample storage, supervised preparation and drying of bulk samples. They’ve also shipped in technical lab equipment to help get the assays done. 

Meanwhile, gold panning in the vicinity of the recent drill hole locations had produced visible fine gold as seen opposite. While it may not look that impressive, panning evidence such as this is an important indication of gold in the area. 

Resource Geologist Appointment

Just three days after Craig Brown arrived on site, ECR announced the appointment of Keith Whitehouse, of Australian Exploration Field Services Pty Limited, as a consultant resource geologist.

With over 40 years’ experience in the provision of technical services to the resources industry, Keith Whitehouse looks to be the ideal appointment at this juncture, particularly given that he has extensive experience in resource modelling, JORC and NI 43-101 reporting, business development, data management and associated IT solutions. In addition to all this, he has extensive experience in Victoria, being a former Chair and current committee member of the Central Victoria branch of AusIMM. 

Of the appointment, Craig Brown commented: “Keith’s knowledge and experience will be applied immediately with regard to our ongoing work at Creswick, where we are seeking to quantify gold mineralisation in a manner that, if applicable, can be embodied within a JORC compliant resource.

In addition Keith’s skills will be of further value in respect of other projects in our Victorian portfolio, especially those where knowledge and experience relevant to resource modelling in a nuggetty environment are required.”

Foot on the pedal at Timor Gold Project, with modern processing set to offer great potential.

Although, at present Creswick is a priority, the Company is working hard to progress the other sites in the Victoria region. 

On June 25th, it was announced that gold exploration activities had commenced at the Timor Gold Project in Victoria, with Craig Brown stating that he was confident that modern mining processing techniques could open up significant gold production opportunities at the old Timor mines. 

“It is evident that most of the historical gold mines have not been developed fully at depth and that processing challenges stopped production in some cases, including certain remarkably high-grade gold deposits where production grades of up to 217 g/t or 7 oz/t are recorded” Brown added.

Timor Rock Chip Sampling 

Most recently, on July 15th ECR announced that 91 samples have been collected from Timor and submitted to the laboratory for assay testing. These were taken from two major fault zones, both with a long history of producing gold. The Shaw-McFarlane Fault Zone (“SMFZ”) in particular is reported to have consistently produced high grade gold mines along its length. 

Samples will include those taken from rock dumps from old gold workings, with the objective of the process to understand the type of mineralisation present. 

ECR were also delighted to announce that a 2.2kg gold nugget worth an estimated value of circa $200,000 had been discovered in an old alluvial channel approximately 5 km from the boundary of the Timor gold licence area during a gold prospecting documentary. 

The news came as a huge encouragement to the directors, supporting their ongoing belief in the untapped potential of the primary mineralisation in the area – with these the nuggets likely to have a local, primary source.

Gold production records for the area have also bolstered confidence at ECR. The Maryborough goldfield to the south of their site has produced over 640,000 ounces of gold from hard-rock and alluvial sources, with 220,000 ounces mined from hard-rock operations at an average grade of 14g/t gold. 

Time to jump on board

With active exploration and development underway at these highly prospective projects within the Victorian goldfields – Creswick, Timor and of course Bailieston, – now looks like a better time than ever to board the ECR flight. Tickets are also cheap, with the stock having seen a small dip across June.

There are many other voices across the industry with similar views. Jonathan Goodman, executive chairman of Dundee Corp insists that now is the time to be buying gold mining stocks when prices are deflated instead of waiting until everything is on its way up. In fact Goodman believes that Gold miners currently offer the ‘best value since 2010’. See his interview here with The Street.

With news expected across all three of ECR’s projects in the coming weeks and an internal review of ECR’s Avoca and Moormbool Projects to be with investors soon, this stock has its engines already turning on the runway. Don’t miss the flight. 

By Harry Dacres-Dixon

ECR Minerals (ECR) – Result of AGM

LONDON: 23 April 2019 – The board of directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Directors”) are pleased to announce that at the Company’s annual general meeting held today all resolutions were passed.


ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited has 100% ownership of the Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration licences in central Victoria, Australia and the Windidda Gold Project in the Yilgarn Region, Western Australia.

ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. An NI43-101 technical report was completed in respect of the Danglay project in December 2015 and is available for download from ECR’s website.

ECR’s wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining has 100% ownership of the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near-term production.


ECR Minerals plc Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman
Craig Brown, Director & CEO



Website: www.ecrminerals.com

WH Ireland Ltd Tel: +44 (0)161 832 2174
Nominated Adviser
Katy Mitchell/James Sinclair-Ford
SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1483 413500
Nick Emerson

#ECR Minerals’s Craig Brown says new Yilgarn gold properties look “highly prospective” – Proactive Investors

Shares in ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) moved up by almost 10% to 0.8p at the end of the first week of the year, following the application for licences over 1,600 square kilometres of new ground in the Yilgarn in Western Australia.

The ground has been identified as having significant potential for hosting Archean greenstone belts of the kind that host many of Western Australia’s and the world’s richest gold deposits.

READ: ECR Minerals moves into Western Australia

“It looks like very prospective territory,” says Craig Brown, ECR’s chief executive.

“Everybody regards Western Australia as a very promising area to work in.”

The opportunity on the new ground is enhanced because it comes with pre-existing data.

“There was some work completed in the 1980s and 1990s,” says Brown.

“But they were looking for nickel at the time, and they also found molybdenum. So one of the first things we’re going to do is go over that old information. Because nobody’s ever looked for gold here.”

One reason for that is that the rocks that may be mineralised lie under cover, so opportunities for geochemistry are limited.

But ECR is hopeful that the cover may be fairly shallow, and that exploration work will be relatively straightforward.

“The best way to test it is to do aircore drilling,” says Brown.

“It’s very cheap at around A$40 or A$50 per metre, including assaying costs, so our plan is to do an aircore programme once we’ve reviewed the existing data.”

ECR is unlikely to move on that until the licences have actually been granted, although Brown doesn’t see any real issue with that.

After all, the deal that’s wrapped around them is pretty attractive: for 19 licences the company must pay A$1,400 each, plus an annual rent, that takes the total cost up to only A$88,000.

“Hopefully they’ll be granted in the next quarter,” says Brown, “and we’ll move pretty quickly after that.”

Australia projects

In the meantime, work is continuing on ECR’s other Australian gold projects, in particular, Bailieston and Creswick.

“At Bailieston we want to go back and have a look at Blue Moon, Black Cat and Byron targets,” says Brown.

“We’re planning on conducting a small programme of drilling at Blue Moon in the current quarter of this year. We’re just budgeting the whole thing out. We drilled at Blue Moon in May 2018 and we came across a zone of mineralisation where all the rocks were weathered and you could see that the mineralisation had already been leached out of the rock.”

What was really interesting though, was that the mineralisation in question showed considerable similarity to Mandalay’s Costerfield mine, 25 kilometres away.

“They mine between 150 and 200 metres below the surface,” explains Brown.

We believe we can hit fresh rock and sulphides beneath the leached material that we’ve already intersected.”

So that’s one intriguing aspect of the project. Another is that Newmont picked up ground adjacent to Bailieston in December. So we’re not just talking about small companies operating on the edge of geological speculation here. The big players are coming in too.

Then there’s the Avoca licence, which is likely to be the subject of a 1,500-metre rotary air blast (RAB) programme shortly, and Creswick over in Victoria which will also be investigated.

Creswick, in particular, holds significant potential, according to Brown.

“We’re quite optimistic there’s something down there,” he says.

So lots to look forward to over the coming months, especially since ECR Minerals already has the money in the bank to pay for all this work.

There’s £1.2mln currently in the treasury, according to Brown, following two fundraising exercises undertaken last year: a £650,000 raise in July, and a £700,000 raise in December.

And that means that shareholders will be able to enjoy the full benefits of any positive newsflow without having to look over their shoulders to worry about dilution any time soon.

ECR has, in any case, a very supportive cornerstone investor in Shenyang Xinliaoan Machinery, a connection Brown brought with him when he joined ECR, acquired during his days operating in Central Asia.

All told, ECR looks to be on a secure footing going into 2019, with plenty of exciting newsflow to come, and the nice backdrop of a rising gold price to put it all into context.

Share Talk Q&A with Craig Brown – Chief Executive Officer of ECR Minerals plc

We wanted to cover your Strategic Business Update released on 6 November 2018, but firstly should ask about your thoughts on market conditions?

How you feel about market conditions depends on positioning. 

For private and institutional investors conditions are pretty awful although there is evidently a keen search by investors for stocks to acquire that could be positive performers even in present market conditions.

We have to demonstrate that ECR is in that category through our work and communications about our progress.

For resource companies on the markets, those with established businesses and cash can keep working through the downturn phase and make ready for the upturn.

ECR raised money in July and as a result, has the working capital to run until Q3 2019 as previously publicised.  We are in a strong position operationally and financially and that makes us a positive investment proposition, in my view, at this time.


On the gold side of your business, Australia seems the focus right now.  Why is that?

The Victoria region has been a stunning producer of gold over the years and was the location of one of the great nineteenth-century gold rushes. What’s better is that we believe there is considerable gold still to be discovered, and we are exploring for it right now.

We are greatly heartened by the exceptional success of the Fosterville mine in Victoria, which has produced more than a million ounces of gold to date and has ramped up production significantly of late, announcing record quarterly gold production of 90,000 ounces in Q3 2018.  The mine is also notable for the discovery of significant bonanza grade mineralisation at depth in recent years.  Fosterville is located in the same district as ECR’s Bailieston and Moormbool gold projects.

Our strategic and well-publicised objective is to find a substantial multi-million ounce gold deposit in the region and we are on an exciting pathway.  We have published exploration results across a number of our many targets in the last few months and the results have been very exciting for the team.

We have already identified a gold system at the Blue Moon target and a large gold system at the Creswick target and more work is underway across the portfolio that will bring further updates to market.

In summation, we have multiple targets, very positive initial exploration results and our ongoing campaign is in full swing.  There is a lot to aim for here and we have the resources and capable in-country team to get the work done.


You have mentioned Argentina and opportunities there in respect of “corporate avenues”. Can you elaborate?

I can’t be too specific, but we are pro-active in the background in Argentina and are reviewing a number of project opportunities and corporate options that may have the potential to add value.

Adding value is one thing, but we appreciate crystallisation of value is paramount for shareholders and we are very switched on to that.

Argentina is a resource-rich country and largely supportive of mineral exploration and development.  We have strong and growing local relationships and there are increasingly more opportunities and more avenues we could pursue.  We are active in moving initiatives forward and will update shareholders as soon as we have material progress.


The Iceberg due diligence is taking some time, in fact, more than originally planned, why is that?

We have been presented with a lot of data and are going through all the information.

One thing is key, acquisitions should be structured well and project due diligence conducted very carefully.  If it takes more time to do a thorough job, all companies should do that and not be afraid to extend option periods. You protect shareholders that way.

Also, in the challenging conditions working capital is a scarce resource and there are a number of high potential projects available.  Our job is to apply working capital to the best options and the process of due diligence ensures we do just that.


What other gold opportunities are you considering?

We have a good pipeline of Australian gold opportunities mainly in Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Whether we will pursue any additional projects depends on multiple factors including a project’s fit within the Company alongside our other gold interests; whether the project costs are comfortably within our management and financial resources; and whether we can see a value crystallisation route for shareholders.

We are looking at early stage exploration and projects with existing resources.


Turning to energy metals and minerals can you explain what you mean by “interest from third parties”?

As a Company, we are very excited by gold as a commodity focus, and we know our current and potential investors are too.  That should not mean that we turn off to other opportunities and it has become increasingly clear to us that there is considerable interest in the energy metals and minerals segment.

The general interest of investors is a good thing and we need to be aware of that.  However, there are also a number of organisations external to ECR who are keen to build a pipeline in energy metals and minerals.

In fact, the evident strategic drive to build this pipeline is demonstrated by the potential offer of capital to finance new ventures should the company be able to identify suitably meritable projects.

What is particularly appealing is the interest in ECR to act as a vehicle for new opportunities in respect of gold and energy metals & minerals.

Market conditions may be difficult but that is giving us a real opportunity to stand apart from the crowd by building our business in this downturn phase. The cash at bank and potential third party engagement helps of course.


Can you give us an indication of the type of energy metal or mineral project you are looking for?

Again, its difficult to answer too specifically as that information should be centred on market announcements. However, we have identified through our network various interesting projects in Australia and elsewhere.  These are across multiple commodity categories including cobalt, copper, lithium, uranium and vanadium.

We want projects that our shareholders will appreciate and that can also engage the interest of new potential investors. We also want projects that can attract external finance with an emphasis on project level financing helping to reduce dilution at corporate plc level, something we know is very important to shareholders.


You seem very positive about the ECR business at the moment.  What excites you the most about the business?

The work that goes into the Company is relentless at times, especially now with so much underway.  So you need the excitement to keep you buoyed up.

I am delighted to be working closely with our Chairman David Tang, who apart from being very commercially minded, has an extensive network across many Asian countries and is able to bring ECR to the attention of that network.  We have plenty of support provided we build our business with projects of real merit and potential.

It feels like it is ECR’s time but an intensive amount of effort is going in to make that happen.

Share Prophets – Hopeful Samples Might Lead to a Glittering Share Rise for this Aussie Prospector – ECR Minerals #ECR

By Malcom Stacey

Hello Share Treaders. Down under there is a precious metals company called ECR Minerals (ECR). With gold values possibly set to rise in a difficult environment for most other shares, it might pay to have a gander at this one. ECR’s wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia has Avoca, Bailieston, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration licences in Central Victoria.

The Aim-listed company claims that the latest assay results for the Bailieston field are promising. The company has taken 75 rock samples ‘confirming gold mineralisation’. I’m no expert, but I would say that might not be the same as finding big nuggets, but ECR seems quite chuffed all the same.

Roughly the same number of samples were taken earlier. And 22 of them also revealed gold traces: to the extent of 2.7 ounces per ton of rock. That may not sound a lot, but apparently, in gold mining terms, it’s quite hopeful. Assaying has also been extended to its Cherry Tree field, where many of the samples taken also show ‘gold mineralisation’.

And now the enterprise awaits the results of rock chip sampling undertaken in another area, Creswick. Earlier mapping had, we’re told, revealed a large gold system. Those results are expected soon and if promising, we might expect the share price to rise. But the company doesn’t only pins hopes on Australia. Its Argentine subsidiary, Ochre Mining, has 100% ownership of another gold project in La Rioja, Argentina.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive of ECR, says both batches of sampling at Bailieston in Victoria have produced high-grade gold. And it might pay to look for gold companies as a bit of a hedge against falling share prices. But of course, searching for mineable gold can be pretty risky.

A bit like drinking in the Punter’s Return.


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