- Creswick a strategic priority
- Golden Nuggets
- Foot on the pedal at Timor Gold Project
- Time to jump on board
AIM Listed Australia-focussed mining company ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) now has active exploration and development works underway at three projects within the Victorian goldfields region, including Bailieston, Creswick and Timor.
Developments in June and July have ensured that investors remain firmly focussed on progress thanks to a raft of exciting announcements from both Creswick and Timor projects.
Creswick a strategic priority, with potential to host multi-million ounce gold deposit
ECR Minerals Creswick gold project is evolving quickly, with ECR looking to rapidly advance the project to a JORC compliant resource.
ECR’s CEO Craig Brown said the company will be “allocating resources to this project in a prioritised manner” with internal modelling suggesting that Dimocks Main Shale..”is large enough to potentially host a multi-million ounce gold deposit”.
There is plenty of long standing geological and anecdotal evidence supporting this view. The Dimocks Main Shale (DMS), a 15km-long geological feature containing a vast amount of alluvial and deep lead gold, has been historically responsible for contributing a large proportion of gold production in the Victoria region. And it just so happens that approximately 7km of ECR’s Creswick licences and applications incorporate the DMS feature.
Back in February ECR completed 1,687 metres of reverse circulation drilling, which targeted multiple quartz vein orientations. Results in May reportedly exceeded expectations, with quartz identified in over a third of the ground drilled.
However, it was the ‘nuggetty’ nature of gold mineralisation at the site which grabbed the Company’s attention. It is now thought that the ‘nuggety’ gold mineralisation could have dramatically increased the likelihood of understated assays in ECR’s samples to date, with the chance of capturing a gold nugget in any drilled meter smaller as the nuggets size increases.
To help provide a clearer picture, ECR announced on the 11th June that they would be significantly ramping up their assessment, particularly given the strong possibility that coarse gold was missed from previously assayed 2kg samples from a 30kg bag.
In line with advice from tendering laboratories, ECR have devised a structured approach to systematically test 640 sample bags (each close to 30 kg).
Bags found to contain metal will be removed from site for “whole-of-bag” testing. ECR stated that the process will now incorporate multiple steps, including sieving, detecting, gold particle analysis, gravity concentration and assaying to determine the size distribution and grade of the coarse and fine gold within the sample.
The Company has every reason to be hopeful. On May 8th, a sample bag trial demonstrated gold of 11.8 g/t from whole-of-bag gravity concentration, some 528% greater than the 1.88 g/t gold returned from assay of the initial 2kg sub-sample.
“Creswick is a unique project and the assessment of in-situ gold mineralisation requires bespoke project management and technical application”, said Craig Brown.
“I am delighted that our first metal detecting of bags has already highlighted metal content, which we expect is reflective of nugget gold mineralisation as samples from depth are unlikely to contain other detectable metals.”
CEO site visit
As Creswick continued to make rapid progress, Craig Brown visited the site in June.
He commented; “Subject to the ongoing results of our work, and assuming positive exploration outcomes, we are seeking to rapidly advance Creswick toward a JORC compliant resource.”
JORC is a professional code of practice that sets minimum standards for Public Reporting of minerals Exploration Results.
In the same announcement on June 21st, ECR revealed that in a bid to get the project into full flight, the Company have rented a large aircraft hangar and house in Nagambie for the sample storage, supervised preparation and drying of bulk samples. They’ve also shipped in technical lab equipment to help get the assays done.
Meanwhile, gold panning in the vicinity of the recent drill hole locations had produced visible fine gold as seen opposite. While it may not look that impressive, panning evidence such as this is an important indication of gold in the area.
Resource Geologist Appointment
Just three days after Craig Brown arrived on site, ECR announced the appointment of Keith Whitehouse, of Australian Exploration Field Services Pty Limited, as a consultant resource geologist.
With over 40 years’ experience in the provision of technical services to the resources industry, Keith Whitehouse looks to be the ideal appointment at this juncture, particularly given that he has extensive experience in resource modelling, JORC and NI 43-101 reporting, business development, data management and associated IT solutions. In addition to all this, he has extensive experience in Victoria, being a former Chair and current committee member of the Central Victoria branch of AusIMM.
Of the appointment, Craig Brown commented: “Keith’s knowledge and experience will be applied immediately with regard to our ongoing work at Creswick, where we are seeking to quantify gold mineralisation in a manner that, if applicable, can be embodied within a JORC compliant resource.
In addition Keith’s skills will be of further value in respect of other projects in our Victorian portfolio, especially those where knowledge and experience relevant to resource modelling in a nuggetty environment are required.”
Foot on the pedal at Timor Gold Project, with modern processing set to offer great potential.
Although, at present Creswick is a priority, the Company is working hard to progress the other sites in the Victoria region.
On June 25th, it was announced that gold exploration activities had commenced at the Timor Gold Project in Victoria, with Craig Brown stating that he was confident that modern mining processing techniques could open up significant gold production opportunities at the old Timor mines.
“It is evident that most of the historical gold mines have not been developed fully at depth and that processing challenges stopped production in some cases, including certain remarkably high-grade gold deposits where production grades of up to 217 g/t or 7 oz/t are recorded” Brown added.
Most recently, on July 15th ECR announced that 91 samples have been collected from Timor and submitted to the laboratory for assay testing. These were taken from two major fault zones, both with a long history of producing gold. The Shaw-McFarlane Fault Zone (“SMFZ”) in particular is reported to have consistently produced high grade gold mines along its length.
Samples will include those taken from rock dumps from old gold workings, with the objective of the process to understand the type of mineralisation present.
ECR were also delighted to announce that a 2.2kg gold nugget worth an estimated value of circa $200,000 had been discovered in an old alluvial channel approximately 5 km from the boundary of the Timor gold licence area during a gold prospecting documentary.
The news came as a huge encouragement to the directors, supporting their ongoing belief in the untapped potential of the primary mineralisation in the area – with these the nuggets likely to have a local, primary source.
Gold production records for the area have also bolstered confidence at ECR. The Maryborough goldfield to the south of their site has produced over 640,000 ounces of gold from hard-rock and alluvial sources, with 220,000 ounces mined from hard-rock operations at an average grade of 14g/t gold.
Time to jump on board
With active exploration and development underway at these highly prospective projects within the Victorian goldfields – Creswick, Timor and of course Bailieston, – now looks like a better time than ever to board the ECR flight. Tickets are also cheap, with the stock having seen a small dip across June.
There are many other voices across the industry with similar views. Jonathan Goodman, executive chairman of Dundee Corp insists that now is the time to be buying gold mining stocks when prices are deflated instead of waiting until everything is on its way up. In fact Goodman believes that Gold miners currently offer the ‘best value since 2010’. See his interview here with The Street.
With news expected across all three of ECR’s projects in the coming weeks and an internal review of ECR’s Avoca and Moormbool Projects to be with investors soon, this stock has its engines already turning on the runway. Don’t miss the flight.
By Harry Dacres-Dixon