ECR Minerals Craig Brown, chief executive of ECR Minerals, insists he is “not a goldbug, not fixated on gold”.
Nonetheless, ECR’s main business is exploring for gold deposits and it is planning mines in the Australian states of Victoria and Western Australia.
Mr Brown said gold mining is commercially appealing because the purification process is simple and the metal is a durable store of value.
ECR’s sites are still in the early stages of proving viability and are years away from commercial operation. In Victoria, the company is testing mineral samples for gold content to determine the extent and purity of deposits.
Mr Brown described the Western Australia project as “relatively greenfield, we’re not even talking about resources yet, we’ve got to drill some holes first”.
He maintains that ECR’s above-ground surveys give the company good reason to think that gold may be below.
Gold prices have risen by about 15 per cent over the year to $48 a gramme as investors have sought refuge from market turbulence.
ECR is listed on Aim and its shares currently trade at 0.7p. The price rose sharply in March and April after a series of positive findings from drilling in Victoria, but it has dropped back again and is currently down 7 per cent since January. Its market capitalisation is £3.2m.