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ECR Minerals’ Craig Brown updates Andrew Scott at Proactive on talks with potential partners for key gold assets in Australia

ECR Minerals PLC’s (LON:ECR) Craig Brown tells Proactive London’s Andrew Scott they’re in active discussions with potential partners on its Bailieston and Creswick projects in Victoria, Australia. ECR’s recently sold licences comprising the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration projects in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd for a total potential cash consideration of up to A$2.5mln.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Unaudited Half-Yearly Results for the Six Months Ended 31 March 2020

ECR Minerals plc, the gold exploration and development company, is pleased to announce unaudited half-yearly financial results for the six months to 31 March 2020 for the Company as consolidated with its subsidiaries (the “Group”), along with a review of significant developments during the period and subsequently.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Victoria, Australia continues to enjoy a gold exploration boom and interest from third parties in ECR’s projects in Victoria is strong, with several discussions taking place in respect of potential commercial transactions over our Bailieston and Creswick projects.
  • Announced results from exploration activities in Victoria included positive findings of an alteration study on RC drill cuttings from the Creswick project (March 2020), and confirmation of very high grade gold mineralisation at Creswick by the completion of ‘full bag’ testing (November 2019).
  • In January 2020, MGA, ECR’s 100% owned Australian subsidiary, received a research and development expenditure refund of A$555,212 (approximately £295,515) from the Australian government.
  • The Company completed the sale of its Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA in February 2020 and retains an NSR royalty of up to 2% to a maximum of USD 2.7 million in respect of future production from the SLM gold project.
  • Post-period end, the Company sold licences comprising the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration projects in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd for total potential cash consideration of up to A$2.5 million announced in April 2020.
  • Post-period end, the Company’s cash position was strengthened by a £500,000 equity financing and the receipt of A$500,000 from Fosterville South Exploration Ltd in April 2020.
  • Group comprehensive expense of £1,846,202 for the six months ended 31 March 2020 (£480,368 for the six months ended 31 March 2019) and net assets of £2,206,211 at 31 March 2020 (£3,876,921 at 31 March 2019).
  • The Group Operating Loss for the six months ended 31 March 2020 reduced to £369,102, compared with £438,145 for the six months ended 31 March 2019.
  • Despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, the Directors’ believe ECR is in a robust financial position and continues to provide shareholders with exposure to an exciting range of gold projects.

FINANCIAL RESULTS
For the six months ended 31 March 2020 the unaudited financial statements of the Group record a total comprehensive expense of £1,846,202, including, a one off exceptional item of (£1,602,539) which pertains to the disposal of the Company’s Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA. This amount cannot remain capitalised under applicable accounting standards, although this amount could be recovered from future royalty payments in relation to the SLM gold project in Argentina, which is owned by Ochre Mining SA, if they progress to production.

The Group’s net assets were £2,275,479 at 31 March 2020, compared with £3,876,921 at 31 March 2019. The reduction in net assets has occurred largely due to the disposal of Ochre Mining SA, as explained above.

The Group held £166,852 of cash and cash equivalents at 31 March 2020, compared with £622,457 at 31 March 2019. The current cash position of the Group today is £742,379.

In January 2020, Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”), ECR’s 100% owned Australian subsidiary, received a research and development (R&D) refund of A$555,212 (approximately £295,515) from the Australian government. This refund relates to qualifying expenditure incurred by MGA in the year ended 30 September 2019. The qualifying R&D activities pertain to research into turbidite-hosted gold deposits within MGA’s exploration licences in Victoria. Post the period end, the Group’s cash position benefited from a £500,000 equity financing completed by the Company and the receipt of AUD$500,000 from the sale of licences in April 2020.

The financial information included in the 31 March 2019 announcement have been restated due to a change in the accounting treatment of the R&D refunds received by MGA. As well as the refund noted above, a refund of A$318,971.73 (approximately £175,188) was received in May 2019. This was previously categorised as other income in the interims to 31 March 2019. The amount received has been offset against exploration assets following the restatement.

REVIEW OF PRINCIPAL DEVELOPMENTS DURING THE PERIOD AND SUBSEQUENTLY

Sale of Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration projects (the “Licences”) in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd

In April 2020, ECR announced that Fosterville South Exploration Ltd, which listed on the TSX Venture Exchange that same month, had agreed to acquire MGA’s 100% ownership of the Licences by way of Currawong Resources Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fosterville South, for total potential cash consideration of up to A$2.5 million, as follows:

  1. A$500,000 in cash, which was paid to MGA immediately;
  2. A further payment of A$1 for every ounce of gold or gold equivalent of measured resource, indicated resource or inferred resource estimated within the area of one or more of the Licences in any combination or aggregation of the foregoing, up to a maximum of A$1,000,000 in aggregate;
  3. A further payment of A$1 for every ounce of gold or gold equivalent produced from within the area of one or more of the Licences, up to a maximum of A$1,000,000 in aggregate.

ECR considered the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor licences to be high-potential but non-core to the Company, and the Company maintains exposure to upside from the projects as a result of future resource estimation or production, through a royalty arrangement as set out above.

Alteration Study – Creswick Gold Project
In February 2020, MGA commissioned Dr Dennis Arne to carry out an alteration study of cuttings (chips) generated by the RC drilling at the Creswick project in 2019. Dr Arne is a preeminent consulting geochemist in Victoria, whose experience includes previous and on-going reviews of geochemistry at the highly successful Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria owned by Kirkland Lake Gold.

The results of the study were announced on 27 March 2020, and showed good indications of hydrothermal fluid flow related to gold mineralisation in a number of drill holes at Creswick. Importantly, the variation in the results, with some areas ‘lighting up’ and others not, is potentially useful for identifying gold-bearing shoots.

‘Full Bag’ Sampling – Creswick Gold Project
In February 2019 MGA completed a total of 1,687 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling in 17 holes at Creswick, targeting multiple quartz vein orientations within the Dimocks Main Shale (“DMS”). The drilling identified more extensive quartz than anticipated, in a zone exceeding 60 metres in width (more than twice the 25 metres expected), with quartz identified in more than one third of the 1,687 metres drilled. Gold mineralisation was identified in the majority of holes, with grades in nine holes ranging from 0.6 g/t gold to 44.63 g/t gold (1.44 oz/t).

MGA’s geologists hypothesised an extreme nuggety distribution of gold based on the results of drilling and other observations, including capturing a small 0.27 g nugget in gravity tests conducted on a single sample bag. In order to assess the significance of this effect, MGA’s consultants devised a testing program using gravity and electrostatic concentration (GEC) on full bags of RC drill cuttings, which would constitute the whole sample recovered from each metre of drilling (less sub-samples obtained at the time of drilling via a splitter mounted on the drill rig). In nuggety gold systems, increasing sample size increases the chance of nuggets being captured in the sample, and thus being appreciated as part of the gold endowment of the system.

Using the GEC method on the full bags, MGA was able to subject larger, more representative sample sizes to analysis. A total of 129 ‘full-bag’ samples were analysed using the GEC process. In parallel, 74 duplicate sub-samples obtained at the time of drilling via the rig-mounted splitter were analysed by the Leachwell method at Gekko Systems. This was done to enable comparison with the assay results (obtained by the same method) for the first set of sub-samples, to assist in classifying the nugget effect as extreme, major or minor.

Grade variability due to the nugget effect was demonstrated by the results of the exercise, which were announced in November 2019, but some consistency between results was also seen, and indicates the nugget effect may be less severe than initially thought. Overall, the programme confirmed the presence of nuggety gold mineralisation in the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS) at Creswick, some of which is very high grade.

MGA’s tenement position at Creswick covers approximately 7 kilometres of the DMS trend, and the 2019 drilling only tested approximately 300 metres of this. ECR therefore believes there is significant potential upside in the project.

Sale of SLM Gold Project
In February 2020, the Company sold its wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA, which holds the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina, to Hanaq Argentina SA (“Hanaq”). The sale allows ECR to focus on its core gold exploration activities in Australia.

Hanaq is a Chinese-owned company engaged in lithium, base and precious metals exploration in Northwest Argentina including Salta, Jujuy and La Rioja, with a highly experienced management team.

ECR retains an Net Smelter Return (“NSR”) royalty of up to 2% to a maximum of USD 2.7 million in respect of future production from the SLM gold project. ECR believes that Hanaq has the operational capabilities and access to Chinese investment capital necessary to put the SLM project into production, subject to the usual prerequisites such as further exploration and feasibility studies being successfully completed (if deemed necessary by Hanaq) and to the necessary permits for production being obtained.

The founder and CEO of Hanaq Group, of which Hanaq Argentina SA is part, is Mr Xiaohuan (Juan) Tang, who has a substantive track record in Latin America, including responsibility for the successful permitting of the Pampa de Pongo iron ore project in Peru in his former capacity as General Manager of Jinzhao Mining Peru. Pampa de Pongo is one of the largest iron ore deposits in Latin America. Mr Tang has degrees from Tsinghua University in China, and Imperial College, Cambridge University and Oxford University in the UK.

Outlook, Future Prospects and COVID 19
The Directors’ of ECR Minerals plc are very positive regarding the outlook for the Company, gold and the prospectively of the Company’s projects in Victoria, Australia.

As a consequence of COVID 19, governments around the world have imposed restrictions on international travel; restrictions have also been imposed on domestic travel within Australia. These restrictions have meant that the board have been unable to visit the assets. However, the team on the ground in Australia continue the work at site without interruption. Accordingly, there has been no significant negative impact on the Group from the coronavirus.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

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

Tel: +44 (0)1483 413500

Broker

Nick Emerson

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This announcement may include forward looking statements. Such statements may be subject to a number of 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 as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.

ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC
ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd has 100% ownership of the Bailieston and Creswick gold projects in central Victoria, Australia.

Following the sale of the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold projects in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd (TSX-V: FSX), ECR has the right to receive up to A$2 million in payments subject to future resource estimation or production at those projects.

ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines, and holds a royalty on the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina.

Link here for financial statements

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

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

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.

References:

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 – Sale of Exploration Licences for total potential cash consideration of up to A$2.5 million

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focussed on Australia, is pleased to announce the sale by ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”) of the licences comprising the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration projects (the “Licences”) in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd (“Fosterville South”) for total potential cash consideration of up to A$2.5 million.

Fosterville South, which recently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange with the code FSX, has agreed to acquire MGA’s 100% ownership of the Licences by way of Currawong Resources Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fosterville South, for the following consideration:

1. A$500,000 in cash to be paid to MGA immediately;

2. A further payment of A$1 for every ounce of gold or gold equivalent of measured resource, indicated resource or inferred resource estimated within the area of one or more of the Licences in any combination or aggregation of the foregoing, up to a maximum of A$1,000,000 in aggregate;

3. A further payment of A$1 for every ounce of gold or gold equivalent produced from within the area of one or more of the Licences, up to a maximum of A$1,000,000 in aggregate.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer of ECR, commented: “We are delighted to sell these non-core but high-potential licences to Fosterville South, while maintaining exposure to upside from the Licences as a result of future resource estimation or production.

We believe Fosterville South is well placed to advance the Licences with its strong local exploration team and backing from North American high-net worth and institutional investors, while ECR will continue to concentrate its resources on our core projects in Victoria, Bailieston and Creswick.

The initial cash to be received from this disposal, in addition to the recently announced placing for £500,000, puts ECR in a robust working capital position which we can apply toward development of our core projects.

It is worth noting that other external parties are currently reviewing data on our Bailieston and Creswick gold projects with a view to potential commercial transactions, including joint venture opportunities, although there can be no guarantee that any transaction will occur. In addition, whilst ECR remains open to transactions on these licence areas, the ECR board believe both to hold considerable potential and inherent value for the Company.”

Further Information

The Licences comprise exploration licences EL5387 (Avoca project), EL006280 and EL006913 (Moormbool project), and EL006278 (Timor project) in Victoria, Australia.

The book value of the Licences as derived from ECR’s unaudited management accounts for the period ended 30 March 2020 was approximately A$282,000, which is the equivalent of approximately £144,000, based on £1 = A$1.9626*. No turnover, profits or losses are attributable to the Licences.

The maximum potential cash consideration receivable by MGA in respect of the sale of the Licences is A$2.5 million, which is the equivalent of approximately £1.275 million, based on £1 = A$1.9626*

The Company intends that the consideration to be received immediately, and any future consideration received, will be applied by ECR to augment its ongoing working capital position as well as towards its exploration and development activities.

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.

*Exchange rate derived from closing price on Bloomberg at 17 April 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

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

Broker

Nick Emerson

ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd has 100% ownership of the Bailieston and Creswick gold projects in central Victoria, Australia and the Windidda 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.

Junior Gold Explorers Continue to Shine Amid Global Market Volatility

The year 2020 has already delivered what HM Queen Elizabeth would refer to in her end of year speech as an Annus Horribilis. It is still only April 2020, and Covid-19 continues to wreak almost biblical levels of havoc and human tragedy across the globe. In our previous article on junior gold explorers, we stated that it seemed trite to discuss investment opportunities in the midst of the ongoing battle against CoronaVirus. But life does go on, and so does mining exploration, even with the movement restrictions currently in place.

Gold Set To Rebound Following Monetary Stimulus Measures

Although gold has retreated from the late March highs of $1700 oz, at $1646 the yellow metal still sits close to year highs, well above the 2019 highs of $1277 last August.

Kitco, a website dedicated to gold and metals believes a major rebound in gold is just around the corner as prices look ready to surge on massive global monetary policy stimulus and unprecedented fiscal policies. United Overseas Bank (UOB) head of markets strategy Heng Koon said their forecast is “for gold to rebound significantly in the quarters ahead to USD $1,650 in 2Q20, $1,700 in 3Q20, $1,750 in 4Q20 and $1,800 in 1Q21.”

“Once the USD funding crunch potentially dissipates across 2Q20, massive global monetary policy easing coupled with unprecedented fiscal policy stimulus will light the fuel for further gold strength.”

Heng also added that global central banks “have not only floored rates near zero but many have also entered into large Quantitative Easing programs. These significant stimuli bode well for gold and will be the fuel for gold’s rally once the USD funding crunch abates across 2Q.”

This compelling backdrop continues to drive healthy levels of investor interest in junior gold explorers. Across the globe, the focus on gold is manifesting itself in investor speculation into small cap explorers with quality projects. Most small explorers however only have one or two key project in their asset arsenal, leaving little room for any disappointment. However, there are a handful of micro-cap gold exploration plays offering a broad spread of assets, and consequentially an attractive risk profile with significant upside potential.

Once such company is AIM listed ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR), which has 100% ownership of five gold exploration projects in Central Victoria, Australia, and four exploration licences in the north-eastern Yilgarn region of Western Australia.

ECR’s Bailieston at the Centre of the Current Gold Exploration Boom

ECR’s Victoria projects include Bailieston, Avoca, Timor, Creswick and Moormbool. Indeed Bailieston, which targets epizonal / epithermal gold mineralisation of the Melbourne Zone, is at the epicentre of the current gold exploration boom in Victoria, being located close to the highly successful Fosterville mine owned by Kirkland Lake Gold. Recently, Australian mining giant Newmont arrived in the district with an application for ground immediately to the north of the Black Cat prospect.

Study Data Endorses Creswick Potential

During Q4 2019, ECR reported ‘nuggety gold mineralisation’ in the Dimocks Main Shale prospect at Creswick, some of which proved to be exceptionally high grade. 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.

On March 27th, ECR announced the results of a study carried out by Dr Dennis Arne, a pre-eminent consulting geochemist in Victoria, whose experience includes extensive consultancy at the highly successful Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria owned by Kirkland Lake Gold.

The well-regarded Dr Arne’s involvement was seen as a solid endorsement of Creswick’s potential, and indeed the results did not disappoint, as ECR CEO Craig Brown pointed out.

“We are very pleased with the results of this study, which show good indications of hydrothermal fluid flow related to gold mineralisation in a number of drill holes at Creswick. Importantly, the variation in the results, with some areas ‘lighting up’ and others not, is potentially useful for identifying gold-bearing shoots.”

Brown added that the results “underline the significant gold exploration potential that we believe exists at Creswick, where our tenement position covers approximately seven kilometres of the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS) trend, of which our 2019 drilling tested only approximately 300 metres.”

Windidda Progress

ECR’s Windidda Gold Project, based in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia originally consisted of a package of nine exploration licence applications covering a 1,600 square kilometre area with the potential to host komatiite hosted nickel-copper-PGE (platinum group element) mineralisation, as well as orogenic gold. Five exploration licences have been granted, and in its full year results statement at the end of March 2020, ECR said the remaining four licence applications had been withdrawn, in light of objections to the expedited grant procedure from native title parties and the findings of preliminary desktop work to assess the prospectivity of the licence areas.

Consolidation, R&D Cash Refund and Focus

A micro-cap gold explorer can only operate so many projects and licenses, and indeed with the burgeoning potential of Creswick now at front and centre, the board took the decision to sell its wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA, which holds the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina.  The sale to Hanaq Argentina SA still sees ECR retain a Net Smelter Royalty of up to 2% to a maximum of US$2.7m in respect of future production from the SLM gold project, while removing ongoing costs associated with acquiring and running an exploration license.

There has been further good news on the funding front too, as the group also received a significant cash refund under the Australian government’s R&D Tax Incentive scheme. A$318,972 (approximately £171,000) was received in relation to the financial year ended 30 June 2018, and received a further refund of A$555,212 (approximately £295,515) in relation to the fifteen month period ended 30 September 2019.

The qualifying R&D activities relate to research into turbidite-hosted gold deposits within the Company’s exploration licences in Victoria. It goes without saying that these two refunds have also provided a significant boost to ECR’s cash position.

The biggest boost however came on Monday 6 April 2020, when, in the midst of the upheaval and disruption caused by COVID-19, ECR announced that it had raised a further GB£500,000 in a placing at 0.5p. That ECR was able raise funds in some of the most challenging stock market conditions in living memory more than anything else underscores the quality of the asset portfolio.

Still trading on a miserly GB£2.5m capitalisation, the market has ascribed little more than the value of the administrative work undertaken to secure the licenses, with no premium whatsoever for the results from Creswick or any of the other work undertaken to ascertain the prospectivity and value of ECR’s projects.

Selected Junior Gold Explorers Offer Great Value

Amid unprecedented efforts to limit the spread of CoronaVirus, the fiscal and monetary stimulus measures announced by the world’s major economies over the past month are global policy events without precedent in peacetime. Gavyn Davies of the FT pointed out that the increase in fiscal spending and loans in the US this year alone “will reach more than 10 percent of GDP, larger than the rise in the federal deficit through 2008 and 2009.”

This wholly supports the UOB / Kitco view that the gold price is set for a major rebound in the months ahead. As such, this rebound is likely to be reflected in the valuations of junior gold mining explorers with strong project portfolios. Fully funded for the coming year, and with nine projects and licenses in key territories across Australia, ECR Minerals should be integral to any junior gold explorer portfolio as the world grapples with the challenges and uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic.

References:

Kitco – Here’s how gold prices will get to $1800 in the next three quarters – https://www.kitco.com/news/2020-04-01/Here-s-how-gold-prices-are-going-to-1-800-in-the-next-three-quarters-UOB.html

FT – Gavyn Davies: Can the world afford fiscal and monetary stimulus on this scale? –  https://www.ft.com/content/0f289d20-6e97-11ea-89df-41bea055720b

PBOC Easing Boosts Gold Price & Investment Case for Junior Gold Explorers

Investors seeking to capitalise on a bullish gold market in 2020, and in particular the next raft of discoveries, will no doubt be aware of the impact that the easing in monetary policy by the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) has had across markets in China, still reeling from the CoronaVirus.

With the yellow metal long viewed as the definitive safe haven investment, markets have also seen a surge in interest at the more speculative end of the gold spectrum, most specifically across junior gold explorers. AIM listed ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) is one such company currently in focus.

Creswick Potentially Transformational for ECR

Prior to the recent surge in the gold price, ECR had already seen a transformational 2019 in regard to developments across it’s six flagship projects.The final quarter saw developments across the explorer’s key Creswick project in Victoria, Australia, with ‘nuggety gold mineralisation’ confirmed in the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS) prospect at Creswick, some of which proved to be exceptionally high grade.

Creswick is viewed as a potentially transformational project for the company, particularly given that 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.

On February 20th, ECR announced it had appointed Dr Dennis Arne to carry out a lithogeochemical study of cuttings (chips) generated by reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Creswick in 2019. Dr Arne is a preeminent consulting geochemist in Victoria, whose experience includes extensive consultancy at the highly successful Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria owned by Kirkland Lake Gold. Bringing someone of this calibre in to review the drilling samples is a solid endorsement of Creswick’s potential, and has set tongues wagging amongst the investing cognoscenti across social media channels. In typical understated fashion, ECR said the results of the study “are anticipated to be valuable for the purposes of future exploration at the Creswick.”

Elsewhere in Central Victoria

Activity continues across ECR’s other projects in Central Victoria, with a number of potential exploration programmes for the Bailieston project, (including further drilling at the Blue Moon prospect), are under consideration, along with soil and stream sediment sampling in the Cherry Tree South and Ponting’s areas.

ECR Interests Realigned

With six key projects across Australia, a country estimated to have the largest gold reserves globally, ECR’s CEO Craig Brown and the board have taken the decision to realign the group’s many interests to focus on Victoria Gold Projects, (Creswick, Bailieston, Avoca, Timor & Moormbool) and the Western Australia Windidda Project.

In this regard, on February 5th the group announced the sale of the SLM Gold Project in Argentina to Hanaq Argentina SA, a Chinese-owned company engaged in lithium, base and precious metals exploration.

The move sees ECR retain an NSR (Net Smelter) royalty of up to 2% to a maximum of US$2.7 million in respect of future production from the SLM gold project. Craig Brown stated that he was.. pleased to retain exposure to potential upside from the SLM gold project in the form of a royalty on future production..we believe that Hanaq has the operational capabilities and access to Chinese investment capital necessary to put the SLM project into production. And more importantly, it aligns the group’s operational activities exclusively across the six key Australian projects.

Windidda Progress

While activities across the Victoria projects are well documented, (not least because of the the Bailieston project is adjacent to a prospect territory acquired in 2018 by global mining giant Newmont), ECR has been pushing ahead its Windidda Gold Project based in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia. This consists of a package of nine exploration licence applications covering a 1,600 square kilometre area with the potential to host orogenic gold deposits. At the end of January ECR published an update on Windidda, stating that four exploration licences had been granted in the north-eastern Yilgarn, and announced a further license award on February 20th.

Aside from Gold, the region is also highly prospective for nickel-copper-PGE (platinum group element) mineralisation, so consequently ECR has commissioned a consultant to complete additional geophysical modelling and a review of historical activity reports for areas to the south of Windidda to better understand the potential prospectivity of the project.

Undervalued

The sale of the SLM Gold project has certainly saved ECR from the ongoing costs associated with acquiring and running an exploration license. There was further good news on the funding front too, as the group also received a cash refund for research and development (R&D) expenditure of AU$555,212 (approx GB£295,515), added to which for the year to 30 September 2019, the group carried forward corporate income tax losses of AU$ 66,341,587 (approximately GB£35.3 million) which are expected to be available for offset against future taxable gains.

Despite this, the current market capitalisation of GB£3.6 million reflects little more than the value of the administrative work undertaken to secure the licenses, with no premium whatsoever for the results from Creswick or any of the other work undertaken to ascertain the prospectivity and value of ECR’s projects.

Safe haven

While it seems trite to discuss investment opportunities in the midst of the shock, havoc and terrible human cost wrought on China and the world by CoronaVirus, the event has already significantly impacted on many of the larger resource and energy groups who provide raw materials to satisfy China’s enormous burgeoning economy.

As already highlighted, the impact on the China stock market (and global markets) has to some degree been mitigated by quantitative easing measures by the PBOC, but the consequential weakness in resource and energy stocks has inevitably driven investors to seek returns elsewhere, i.e. gold. So on February 20th, Beijing cut the one-year loan prime rate to 4.05% from 4.15%, prompting China’s banks to further lower the benchmark borrowing costs for new corporate and household loans.

On the subject of rate cuts and easing, Neils Christensen, a journalist at leading bullion website Kitco stated on February 17th that analysts “remain optimistic that (gold) prices can push higher as easing from the People’s Bank of China could ignite a further drop in global interest rates.”

This view is backed by other pundits too. Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said that economists are still trying to estimate the full impact the spreading virus will have on the global economy. He added that this uncertainty will continue to support gold prices. “We have seen monumental demand destruction this past month and that won’t be resolved anytime soon,” he said. “Central banks will be forced to ease again, but the question is just how much impact further easing will have.”

As China and the world struggles to get to grips with limiting the spread of CoronaVirus, the strength in the gold price looks likely to be sustained throughout the year. This strength is likely to be reflected in across junior gold mining explorers with strong project portfolios. With the raft of project developments and drilling updates scheduled for early 2020, ECR is likely to benefit from this continued focus.

by Alan Green

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.”

HIGHLIGHTS:

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.

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

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

Broker

Nick Emerson

ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC

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

 

Sources:

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

ECR Minerals plc (LON:ECR), the precious metals exploration and development company, is pleased to announce the commencement of gold exploration at Henry’s Hill within the Company’s Avoca gold project.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer commented: “The ECR team are excited to feed Henry’s Hill at the Avoca gold project, into the pipeline of projects under exploration in Victoria.

The Avoca Gold Project is one of five projects held by ECR in the Victorian Goldfields region, with four projects at Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick and Timor now the subject of active exploration or project development operational activity.

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

Highlights:

  • Previously, ECR geologists have taken 7 rock chip samples from the roadside reserve at Henry’s Hill. The samples were taken approximately 5m from each other at various intervals across shallow pits on the roadside reserve. All seven samples were independently tested by Onsite Laboratory Services.
  • Three of these samples returned 5.1, 1.4 and 1.3 g/t gold;
  • ECR have secured land access permission from the landowner and will commence soil geochemistry and field mapping imminently;
  • The soil geochemistry will be undertaken in an attempt to locate the loci of the mineralised shoot/s;
  • In addition, the work will examine the potential for the mineralisation to extend under cover to the east and the potential continuation of mineralisation to the west;
  • Geological mapping conducted in conjunction with the soil geochemistry will attempt to better define the controls on the shoots.

Henry’s Hill Background

Henry’s Hill is located within EL5387 and is 10 km north of Avoca in central Victoria.

The area to be explored is historically known as Henry’s Hill but is also known to the locals as Wolfram Hill due to the presence of the tungsten-bearing ore that was mined along with gold.

Within Henry’s Hill there are shallow historic workings in a zone over 800 m long and up to 100 m wide and which can be seen through the link below:

https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/Projects/AHH_Henrys_Hill_Google_Earth.jpg

The zone has been worked to alluvial cover to the east and so may extend an additional 200 m to the tenement boundary. The workings die out to the west potentially as the influence of the faults diminishes.

The area was mapped in 1950 by government geologist D Thomas, who identified a series of north-dipping faults dissecting NW trending sediments. The most likely geological reconstruction has these faults intersecting a north-plunging anticline under cover to the east. This relationshipis hypothesised to explain the faults diminishing to the west and will be investigated during field mapping.

The presence of tungsten is a good indicator of the influence of magmatic fluids. Granites occur at the surface to the north. Further evidence for granite-related mineralisation will be sought during the exploration work.

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 Australasian 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.

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

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

Broker

Nick Emerson

ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC

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

High Grade Gold Assays – Timor Gold Project – Australia

ECR Minerals plc (LON:ECR), the precious metals exploration and development company, is pleased to announce the receipt of high grade gold assays from the recently completed rock chip sampling programme at the Timor Gold Project (the “Project”) in Victoria, Australia.

The Timor Gold Project is one of five projects held by ECR in the Victorian Goldfields region, with three projects at Bailieston, Creswick and Timor now the subject of active exploration or project development operational activity.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer commented: “I am extremely pleased to announce the receipt of high-grade gold assays from the Shaw’s Reef and Anglo-Saxon Reef prospects, during a recent reconnaissance sampling program where assays of 22.6 g/t and 26.3 g/t Au were received, respectively. Both these samples are of vein quartz taken randomly from the main waste dumps created by the old underground operations of the late 1800s & early 1900s.“

“Furthermore, the reconnaissance has discovered the Brilliant/Northumbria reef and its extensive gold workings, including an old open cut. 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.”

Highlights:

  • Quartz vein material assayed 22.6 g/t from Shaw’s Reef main shaft waste dump, which mined to 152m depth and produced 11465 ounces at a grade of 20.93 g/t Au;
  • Quartz vein material assayed 26.3 g/t from Anglo-Saxon Reef main shaft waste dump & the four samples averaged 8.12 g/t Au. No production records are available and the mine appears to have been worked to relatively shallow depths;
  • Eighty-four (84) rock samples were collected from 19 prospects, with over half (47) of the samples being mineralised or anomalous at >0.1 g/t Au;
  • These 47 anomalous samples of quartz vein or waste rock material are from 14 separate prospects which averaged 1.8 g/t Au indicating that not only are the quartz samples mineralised but that there is a high-level background gold content of the host rocks associated with many of the prospects;
  • The maximum gold grade for these waste rock samples received is 6.49 g/t from the North British Reef, where the material assayed was a host rock slate without any quartz content, which is remarkable;
  • A number of the prospects have consistently anomalous gold grades indicating that the ore does not appear to be particularly nuggetty and that reliable grades can be expected. Further sampling is therefore required to establish the extent of the mineralisation of these particular prospects prior to drilling;
  • A number of prospects remain to be sampled within both the LMFZ and SMFZ pending access negotiations to private property;
  • Wide zones of anomalous gold mineralisation associated with old quartz reef workings that operated on a number of parallel reefs, quartz blows, ladder veins and stockworks within a corridor of up to 80m wide occur at the Brilliant/Northumbria Reefs at the northern end of the Shaw-McFarlane Fault Zone (SMFZ). This zone is about 500m in length and may extend further and therefore offers an immediate drill target with potential for open cut gold mining. Historically part of the zone was open cut with horse and cart technology (Figure 1).

A link to Figure 1 Northumbria Reef open cut:

https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/2019/07/30/northumbria-reef-open-cut.jpg

A link to Figure 2 Brilliant Reef large quartz outcrop approximately 400m south of Northumbria workings:

https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/2019/07/30/brilliant-reef-large-quartz.jpg

Background to the Timor Gold Project:

Timor Gold project is located in Victoria Australia and held under exploration licence EL006278.

Historical records demonstrate that the Maryborough goldfield within the licence area 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. (See references below).

Two major fault zones have been identified on the Project, namely the Shaw-McFarlane Fault Zone (“SMFZ”) and the Leviathan-Mariners Fault Zone (“LMFZ”), which are responsible for the majority of the hard-rock gold production.

The SMFZ has been shown to have consistently produced high grade gold mines along its length with Shaw’s Reef, McFarlane’s Reef and Havelock Monte Christo having recorded production at average grades ranging from 22g/t gold to 217 g/t gold with certain operations having been impacted by metallurgical challenges. (See references below.)

Opportunities exist within the SMFZ to identify and process gold mineralisation at potentially very high grade by applying modern processing techniques to resolve processing challenges that limited production many years ago.

The LMFZ hosts a large number of variably sized reefs that occur within the fault zone. These reefs are associated with diorite dykes and generally offer larger gold targets, albeit at lower grade compared to the SMFZ and historical mining records demonstrate that mining activities were often to relatively shallow depths.

Most of the LMFZ is under shallow alluvial cover which produced a considerable amount of gold in the early days of the Maryborough gold rush of the 1850s.

Both the SMFZ and the LMFZ have potential for modern open cut and underground mining techniques, because of the scale of the deposits present.

As a result of the successful program of reconnaissance rock dump sampling from the old workings announced today, the Company is reviewing the data collected to determine the next step for this the Timor Project.

Further information to follow as each step of the exploration programme is implemented and the results interpreted.

COMPETENT PERSON STATEMENT

This announcement has been reviewed by Neil Motton BAppSc (Hons), MAusIMM (CP), FSEG, a geological consultant to the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd with more than 30 years of professional experience. Mr Motton is a qualified person as that term is defined by the AIM Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies.

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

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

Broker

Nick Emerson

ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC

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.

References:

HOWITT, A.M., 1913. The Maryborough goldfield. Geological Survey of Victoria Memoir 11. Department of Mines, Victoria, 76 pp.

Whitelaw, H.S., 1899, Antimony Ores in Victoria. Geological Survey of Victoria Special Report.

ANON., Undated. Leviathan Gold Mines, Maryborough. Map showing Mining Lease areas, locations of shafts, reefs, alluvial leads composite level plans for mines, etc. Plan No 1757/B/1.

ANON, 1888, Lands held under Leases for Gold Mining, Shaw’s & Mariner’s Reef, Maryborough. Register for Mining Registrar for March 1888.

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