ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to announce that investigations into the previous 2022 field season stream geochemistry results of the Lolworth Project, Queensland are showing potential for the presence of rare earth elements within the project area.
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 under ECR’s Australian wholly owned subsidiary Lux Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”).
- A selected number of pan concentrate stream sediment samples from the 2022 field season are highly anomalous for Rare Earth Elements (REE), including Cesium (Ce), Lanthalum (La) and Yttrium (Y).
- The top ten values include anomaly readings such as (Ce greater than 6000 ppm (0.6%), (La greater than 2760 ppm) and (Y greater than 530 ppm)
- The top anomalous values of Ce, La and Y spatially correlate to a north east trend across the project with some of the best values coinciding with previously mapped intrusive centres.
- The Lolworth Project is showing a diverse range of exploration targets for Gold, Niobium-Tantalum and REE.
- Field work following up these targets is well underway.
CEO Andrew Haythorpe commented: “ECR’s Lolworth project is continuing to exceed our early expectations, and along with Gold, Niobium and Tantalum, the presence of key Rare Earth Elements adds yet another dimension to the scope and diversity of mineralisation in this region.”
“The mounting anecdotal evidence and volume of positive results continues to support the Board’s view that Lolworth could be host to significant Gold, Niobium, Tantalum and REE discoveries. I look forward to reporting the sample results from the latest fieldwork back to the markets as soon as possible”
(Figure 1) Map of the Lolworth Project showing the distribution of Ce, Y and La from pan concentrate sampling to date (May 2023) can be found here:
Figure 1: https://www.ecrminerals.com/images/2023/Fig1_REE_Potential_230524.png
RARE EARTH ELEMENTS
REE’s (Rare Earth Elements) are a group of 17 elements from the periodic table. While they are abundant within the Earth’s crust, discoveries of sufficient concentration of REE’s s to constitute an economically viable deposit are rare, with few currently mined sources in the western world. The most abundant REEs include Cerium (Ce), Neodymium (Nd) and Lanthanum (La). REEs, and these are becoming increasingly sought after as a result of their increased use in ‘green’ related technologies such as batteries, magnets in electrical motors, catalytic convertors and aircraft alloys.
REE RESULTS IN STREAM SAMPLING TO DATE
All pan concentrate stream sampling to date at Lolworth has been analysed using a four-acid digest that is aggressive in digesting most elements. A total of 33 elements including Gold have been analysed since sampling began in mid-2022, and to date ECR has detected Gold, Niobium and Tantalum from within the streams draining the Lolworth Range. Exceptional concentrations of Niobium and Tantalum have been recorded in streams draining a 10km long ridgeline just north of Gorge Creek. Previous announcements regarding these results can be found in ECR’s RNS from February 1 2023 here, and RNS from April 3 2023 here
Although the Company has not specifically analysed all stream samples for REEs, Cesium (Ce), Lanthalum (La) and Yttrium (Y) have been included as part of the 33 elements analysed. Results to date show high values of Ce, La and Y, all of which have been tabulated in Table One below. In summary, ten samples are greater than 0.6% in (Ce), over ten samples are greater than 2760 ppm in (La) and over ten samples are greater than 530 ppm in (Y).
REE CORRELATION BETWEEN NB-TA AND MAPPED INTRUSIVE CENTRES
It is important to note that a number of the high Ce, La and Y results spatially correlate and group together well (see Figure One above). The highest concentrations of these REEs trend in a north-east pattern across the project area, and while the reason for this geochemical trend has yet to be determined, it is hoped that the on-site geological mapping and sampling currently underway in the area will be able to provide some answers. Niobium and Tantalum (Nb-Ta) anomalies highlighted in previous announcements also correlate to some of the best REE results within the same region.
Although the Geological Survey of Queensland previously identified two intrusive areas of interest within the tenements (see Figure One above), the Lolworth Project area has not yet been mapped in detail. While the boundaries of these intrusives and their mineralogy has yet to be established, the Board is greatly encouraged by the fact that the highest concentrations of Niobium and Tantalum (including some of the REEs) are associated with these mapped intrusives. In particular a large intrusive identified by historic aerial mapping located in the extreme south-east of tenement EPM 27903 has been prioritised for exploration by the Board, and a number of sampling campaigns have been planned within this area to identify its potential for Gold, Nb-Ta and REEs.
Pan concentrate stream sampling has been well underway for the last two weeks. Numerous follow-up samples have been taken around and to the north of the 10km Nb-Ta anomalous ridgeline, and these along with a number of additional soil samples scheduled for collection from the best anomalous ridgelines will be submitted for laboratory analysis. ECR’s Technical Director Adam Jones will be on the ground for the next two weeks to map and sample the areas showing the best anomalies to date. The Board look forward to reporting these results back to shareholders in the coming months.
REVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT BY QUALIFIED PERSON
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
|ECR Minerals plc||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7929 1010|
|David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman
Andrew Haythorpe, CEO
|WH Ireland Ltd||Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 1666|
Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade
|SI Capital Ltd||Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413500|
|Novum Securities Limited||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7399 9425|
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|Public & Investor Relations|
ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC
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