Home » ECR Minerals (ECR) » ECR Minerals #ECR – 2023 Exploration Season Commences at the Lolworth Range Project, Queensland

ECR Minerals #ECR – 2023 Exploration Season Commences at the Lolworth Range Project, Queensland

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to announce that exploration has begun for the 2023 field season at the Lolworth Range project, North Queensland, Australia, with follow-up exploration of identified Gold and Niobium-Tantalum targets already underway.

ECR Minerals plc has 100% ownership of three exploration tenements (EPM27901, EPM27902 and EPM27903), which covers the Lolworth Range, located 120km west of the famous gold district of Charters Towers. The project is being explored by ECR’s Australian wholly owned subsidiary Lux Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”).


  • Exploration for 2023 is targeting Gold and Niobium-Tantalum anomalies found during last year’s field season.
  • Planned soil grids to be undertaken across a 2km x 4km potential pegmatite-dyke intrusive centre. Stream drainages leading from this area contain high concentrates of Niobium-Tantalum mineralisation.
  • Previously identified anomalous gold (including visible gold) within streams that are draining from regions of interpreted major fault lineaments represent major targets for the 2023 field season.

CEO Andrew Haythorpe commented: “Both Adam Jones and myself have frequently expressed our excitement at the sheer scale and scope of ECR’s Lolworth project, and its proximity to major historic mines in the area. Our 2022 exploration campaign produced high quality results right from the start, with numerous Gold, Lithium, Niobium and Tantalum samples helping us to zero in on the areas of greatest potential. Our Board and geo team firmly believe that the anecdotal evidence and volume of positive results point to the possibility that the region could host a genuine Gold, Niobium and Tantalum discovery.”

“I am keen to see what the 2023 Lolworth campaign yields in the first few weeks, and I look forward to reporting back to our shareholders.”

Plan figures relating to this announcement can be viewed at the following links:

(Figure 1) Map of the Lolworth Project tenements showing the pan concentrate gold results from exploration in 2022. Also showing the planned exploration targets for 2023;

Figure 1: https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/2023/Fig1_LOL_Au.png

(Figure 2) Map of planned soil sampling grids over the Niobium-Tantalum ridgeline;

Figure 2: https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/2023/Fig2_LOL_Nb-Soilgrids.png


ECR completed its first stage of stream sediment pan concentrate sampling between August and December 2022. A total of 343 samples were taken during this period before the programme was halted due to the incoming tropical wet season. The samples were tested at the end of 2022, revealing  Gold results up to 1395 ppm, which correlated well with the visual gold seen in pan concentrates from numerous stream catchments within the mountainous terrain (see March 23 RNS here).

All samples were analysed using a near total digest of the sample which allowed the detection of other critical elements. From these samples, the presence of Niobium (Nb) and Tantalum (Ta) was detected in high concentrations from streams draining from a 10km north-south striking ridgeline within the Oak Creek region in license area EPM29702. Two notable intrusion centres were identified from the sparse governmental geological mapping that exists for this area. These central locations are noted to contain pegmatitic dykes, which are widely accepted as a hard rock host to critical minerals such as Lithium, Niobium and Tantalum. The location of these intrusions along with an overview of the gold values identified during the sampling program during 2022 can be viewed in Figure One above.


The field team have established that the highest stream concentrations of Niobium and Tantalum originate from a central ridge at the headwaters of Oak Creek. Given that the base geological map for this area shows that pegmatitic dykes are likely to exist, ECR’s technical team have designed a number of soil grids at nominal 50m x 100m spacing along the most prospective ridgeline to detect the presence of Nb-Ta. The Board will also conduct on-ground geological mapping and rock chipping from any prominent outcrops of interest and will then verify if such dykes are present and if so, the values within them. The area of interest covers an area approximately 2km x 4km and is shown in Figure Two above. Although the streams draining this particular area have proved to contain the highest values of Nb and Ta, the field team have also identified other streams showing Gold, Niobium and Tantalum in the immediate vicinity.

The field team also intends to visit and sample an intrusive area similar to the Nb-Ta ridgeline identified in the extreme south-east corner of EPM27903 (see Figure One above). The Board has also identified at least four other drainage systems containing Gold at Flaggy Creek, Reedy Creek, Gorge Creek and an as yet unnamed area (see Figure One above). Visible gold was often seen from sampling within these areas, further validating the laboratory results. Soil grids along with geological mapping and rock chipping work within these catchments has also been prioritised for this year.


The Board believes that the anecdotal evidence and volume of results confirming mineralisation at Lolworth gives rise to the possibility that the region could host a genuine Gold, Niobium and Tantalum discovery. The macro backdrop provides a raft of compelling evidence pointing to an increase in demand for new sources of Gold and critical minerals. The Lolworth Project is sited within a geological district known for a wide range of mineralisation styles, from narrow vein hosted to large intrusion style deposits. Numerous famous historic mines are dotted across this part of North Queensland, including Kidston, Mount Leyshon and Charters Towers. Lolworth Range offers all the right ingredients and geological features to host a potential major discovery, i.e. the right rock types (dykes and intrusions), under explored terrain, positive initial stream sampling results and a determined technical team. The Board and the geological team are very much looking forward to taking the project to the next stage, and we look forward to reporting back to shareholders as soon as possible.


This announcement has been reviewed by Adam Jones, Technical Director of Exploration at ECR Minerals plc. Adam Jones is a professional geologist and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (MAIG). He is a qualified person as that term is defined by the AIM Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies.



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

Andrew Haythorpe, CEO



Website: www.ecrminerals.com
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Alan Green


ECR Minerals is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”) has 100% ownership of the Bailieston and Creswick gold projects in central Victoria, Australia, has six licence applications outstanding which includes one licence application lodged in eastern Victoria. (Tambo gold project). MGA is currently drilling at the Bailieston Blue Moon Project (EL5433) and undertaking geochemical exploration on the Creswick (EL6148) project and has an experienced exploration team with significant local knowledge in the Victoria Goldfields and wider region.

ECR also owns 100% of an Australian subsidiary LUX Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”) which has three approved exploration permits covering 946 km2 over a relatively unexplored area in Queensland, Australia.

Following the sale of the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold projects in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd (TSX-V: FSX) and the subsequent spin-out of the Avoca and Timor projects to Leviathan Gold Ltd (TSX-V: LVX), Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited has the right to receive up to A$2 million in payments subject to future resource estimation or production from projects sold to Fosterville South Exploration Limited.

ECR holds a 90% 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, which has a 43-101 compliant resource. ECR also holds a royalty on the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina and can potentially receive up to US$2.7 million in aggregate across all licences.

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