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#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.
“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.”
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.
ECR Minerals plc (LON:ECR) the precious metals exploration and development company is pleased to confirm the company has recommenced its gold exploration programme at the Bailieston Licence in Central Victoria, Australia.
- The Company has identified eight principle targets within the Company’s five exploration licence areas and has developed an exploration programme designed to test surface gold mineralisation across the licence areas;
- Following the success achieved at Blue Moon and the discovery of a gold mineralised system the Company has launched a broad exploration programme across multiple targets;
- The initial programme has focused on ground exploration at the Byron and Cherry Tree Main targets, further details of which can be found in our market announcement of 20 February 2018;
- The first 150 rock chip samples have been collected from surface at Byron and Cherry Tree Main;
- Previous sampling of quartz veins plus the surrounding sedimentary rocks host rocks tested the hypothesis that low-grade mineralisation may be found in the wall rock. Results showed that the samples containing quartz veins were consistently higher, reaching 23 g/t Au;
- As a result a systematic campaign to sample all quartz veins, especially those not sampled previously, is underway to obtain a consistent dataset. This will establish which of the differing lines at Byron and Cherry Tree are the best mineralised and more importantly to establish where the better shoots reach the surface to assist with future drill planning;
- Further work is scheduled to commence at Creswick target shortly, and a follow up work programme at Blue Moon;
- Announcements will be made to market on a regular basis as each programme is commenced and the results achieved.
Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer of ECR Minerals plc, commented: “With the support provided by investors in our recent financing, and following extensive review of the Victoria region gold prospective targets, ECR has recommenced its exploration programme in Australia.
We are pleased to have this gold exploration programme underway and look forward to the regular flow of results which we will report to market as material developments occur.
Given the level of interest in Australian gold exploration we are excited by the results we are achieving on the ground, where our principle objective is to achieve a significant gold discovery.”
COMPETENT PERSON STATEMENT
The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results is based on information compiled by Dr Rodney Boucher of Linex Pty Ltd. Linex Pty Ltd provides geological services to Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd, including the services of Dr Boucher, who has a PhD in geology, is a Member and RPGeo of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Dr Boucher has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Dr Boucher consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the material based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC
ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia has 100% ownership of the Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration licences in central Victoria, 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.
MARKET ABUSE REGULATIONS (EU) No. 596/2014
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
|ECR Minerals plc||Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010|
|David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman|
|Craig Brown, Director & CEO|
|WH Ireland Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)161 832 2174|
|Katy Mitchell/James Sinclair-Ford|
|Optiva Securities Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)203 137 1902|
|SI Capital Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)1483 413500|
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This announcement may include forward looking statements. Such statements may be subject to numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and therefore actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date hereof (unless stated otherwise) and, except as may be required by applicable laws or regulations (including the AIM Rules for Companies), the Company disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking statements because of new information, future events or for any other reason.