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ECR Minerals #ECR – Exceptional Antimony Results At Bailieston, Victoria

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to announce the latest results for additional testing for the critical mineral Antimony (Sb) from diamond core previously drilled at Bailieston, Central Victoria, Australia.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 44 samples from previous diamond drilling at Bailieston submitted for additional multi-element testing.
  • Best results include 0.3m grading 32% Sb and 0.1m grading 1.20 % Sb.
  • A total of 12 samples returned results greater than 0.1% Sb
  • Antimony is classified as a critical mineral by the Australian Government and many other major economies
  • Prices have soared to record highs in 2024 of ~$18,000/t antimony trioxide (Argus Media), the highest price in over 10 years, as declining ore grades and depleting mines squeeze supply
  • The Bailieston Goldfield, part of the Costerfield-Nagambie Geological Zone, is known for its Antimony deposits and active mining.
  • ECR remains fully funded for its planned operations in Queensland and Victoria in 2024.

Antimony Exploration In Victoria

The ECR Board made the decision to reanalyse diamond core samples for Antimony from the Bailieston Project, drilled during the 2021-2022 campaign, due to the Melbourne Geological Zone’s reputation as a prominent host for Antimony lodes and the increasing demand for the critical mineral.

The Costerfield Mine, owned by Mandalay Resources, is a significant Antimony producer in the region, recording 1,860 tonnes of Sb in 2023. Nearby, Nagambie Resources recently announced a maiden JORC resource estimate of 17,800 tonnes of Sb, while Southern Cross Gold is actively exploring for Antimony at its Sunday Creek Project.

ECR holds exploration licenses situated 45 kilometres east of Costerfield and 25 kilometres west of Nagambie. The Bailieston Prospect (HR3) is positioned on the Bailieston Anticline, renowned for its Antimony mineralisation.

Sampling Method

As part of the Company’s drilling program undertaken in 2021-2022 at Bailieston, all diamond drill core underwent regular analysis using a handheld pXRF unit. The data has subsequently been analysed specifically for Antimony concentrations exceeding 2000 ppm Sb. 44 samples were chosen and forwarded to OSLS Laboratory in Bendigo for comprehensive multi-element analysis (ME-ICP). Samples returning Sb higher than 4000 ppm are tested for higher Sb concentrations by XRF method.

Results

The best sample returned an Antimony result of 0.3m @ 32% Sb (drillhole BH3DD019) while a further 11 samples returned highly anomalous results.

Table 1: Antimony (Sb) Results (%) reported above 0.1 % Sb from the selected drill core from Bailieston.

HOLEID FROM TO Length Sb %
BH3DD019 143.4 143.7 0.3 32
BH3DD027 126.4 126.5 0.1 1.2
BH3DD027 125.9 126.4 0.5 0.99
BH3DD012 72 73 1 0.88
BH3DD022 49.5 50 0.5 0.6
BH3DD009 52.7 53.4 0.7 0.24
BH3DD010 64.4 65.3 0.9 0.18
BH3DD035 90.9 91.3 0.4 0.17
BH3DD037 40.2 40.6 0.4 0.16
BH3DD037 40.6 41 0.4 0.14
BH3DD012 52 53 1 0.13
BH3DD012 73 73.8 0.8 0.11

Next Steps 

The Board believes the findings demonstrate further the potentially significant inherent value within ECR’s Bailieston Project and nearby exploration areas. Previous drilling results from the Project are now undergoing internal review where follow up plans will be announced in due course.

Mike Whitlow Chief Operating Officer said: We’ve identified a highly promising opportunity at Bailieston that warrants further follow-up. The discovery of 32% Antimony over an intersection of 0.3m, coupled with multiple other highly anomalous results, marks a significant breakthrough and validates our decision to re- submit these samples for further analysis. The  finding is truly remarkable, especially considering the current surge of interest and demand for the critical mineral. In the near term, our primary focus will be on identifying a suitable strategic partner to collaborate with and fund further exploration to maximise what has the potential to become an exciting multi-commodity asset at Bailieston.

REVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT BY QUALIFIED PERSON

This announcement has been reviewed by Adam Jones, Chief Geologist 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.

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“MAR”), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of MAR. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

ECR Minerals plc   Tel: +44 (0) 1738 317 693
Nick Tulloch, Chairman

Andrew Scott, Director

   
     
Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

   
Website: www.ecrminerals.com    
     
WH Ireland Ltd   Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 1666
Nominated Adviser

Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade

   
     
Axis Capital Markets Limited   Tel: +44 (0) 203 026 0320
Broker    
Ben Tadd/Lewis Jones    
     
     
Brand Communications   Tel: +44 (0) 7976 431608
Public & Investor Relations    
Alan Green    

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).

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 Lolworth Range, Queensland, Australia. The Company has also submitted a license application at Kondaparinga which is approximately 120km2 in area and located within the Hodgkinson Gold Province, 80km NW of Mareeba, North Queensland.

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), MGA 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.  MGA also has approximately A$75 million of unutilised tax losses incurred during previous operations.

ECR holds a royalty on the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina which could potentially receive up to US$2.7 million in aggregate across all licences

ECR Minerals #ECR – COO Mike Whitlow discusses the work at Blue Mountain, and provides a general operational update

ECR Minerals #ECR COO Mike Whitlow discusses the work at Blue Mountain, and provides a general operational update with Alan Green. Mike provides an update on work undertaken so far in 2024, before we discuss the trenching work at Blue Mountain, the relationship with the landowner, the gold resource identified by previous owners BlueKebble. We then look at the next steps at Blue Mountain, before Mike provides an update on the financial position, company assets and potential tax credits.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Victoria Projects Update – Significant increase in gold grades from Bulk Sampling at Creswick

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to provide an update on the bulk sample results for the first four reverse circulation drill holes as well as the final two holes drilled at the Kuboid Hill prospect in Creswick earlier this year.  The Company is also pleased to provide results from stream sampling that was carried out last month at its Bailieston Project.

HIGHLIGHTS

Creswick

  • Reportable bulk sampling results of 05g/t Au and 2.53 g/t Au over 1 metre upgraded from 0.76 and 0.37 g/t Au respectively.
  • Techniques employed give potential scope for a marked improvement in grades for the remaining “best hole” bulk samples from pan concentrate.

Bailieston

  • Best results of 798 ppb Au and 712 ppb Au from stream sampling.
  • Sampling was carried out at three areas with no known historical workings and have shown encouraging surface expression of anomalous gold which gives merit to further follow up
  • Now re-analysing a number of drill cores from HR3 at Bailieston for the presence of Antimony, which correlates with this latest reconnaissance work showing a presence of Antimony.
  • ECR is funded for its planned activities in Victoria and Queensland in 2024.

Details of the Programmes

Creswick

As announced on 8 April 2024, a total of 1,032 metres of reverse circulation (“RC”) drilling was completed at Kuboid Hill on 16 February 2024. This was the second part of an extended reverse circulation drilling programme at Creswick, following on from 522 metres completed at Davey Road where, as previously announced on 12 February 2024, ECR reported a best overall grade gold of 41.03g/t Au. The Kuboid Hill programme was designed to follow up on the Company’s anomalous gold soil sampling campaign that was completed in 2022.

ECR has received final results from bulk sampling for the first four of the 17 RC drill holes at Kuboid Hill (being KHRC012, KHRC008, KHRC009 and KHRC015). Only KHRC012 generated any reportable results from the bulk sampling, significant improvement was seen in three of the samples from that hole, as set out below:

 Details of bulk sampling and significant intercepts > 0.5g/t

HOLE From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Original Au g/t Bulk Au g/t
KHRC012 27 28 1 0.76 3.05
KHRC012 28 29 1 0.26 0.81
KHRC012 40 41 1 0.37 2.53

The bulk samples from the remaining drillholes are currently in the laboratory. Based on the improved results for hole KHRC012, the ECR Board considers that there is a reasonable expectation of an improvement in grades for some of the remaining bulk samples from other mineralised zones.

Additional Kuboid Hill Drill Holes

The remaining samples for the final two drill holes at Kuboid Hill (see announcement 8 April 2024) have revealedfurther mineralised zones, consistent with what has been seen previously, although neither reported intercepts above 1 g/t.

Bailieston

At the Company’s Bailieston Project, a stream sampling campaign was recently completed throughout the northern part of the tenements (EL006911, EL006912 and EL007296) with the campaign being designed to test for initial evidence of gold mineralisation within the unexplored part of the region.

All three areas have had no historical work and, based on the results obtained, the Company believes there is merit in undertaking additional near-term follow up exploration.

  • Black Cat South

Best results of 798 ppb Au and 712 ppb Au from two streams on the western flank of the Black Cat Fault. The two streams drain a prominent ridgeline that is approximately 400m long in strike and offers further prospectivity. The regional Black Cat Fault is associated with other gold and antimony historical mining activity along strike.

  • King’s Cross

Result of 150 ppb Au from a stream that drains an old prospect known as King’s Cross. Highly oxidised quartz veins are present in this area and require follow up testing.

  • Freisland Hills

An anomaly of 100ppb Au was obtained from an unnamed creek in the centre of the area.

In all three prospects, LIDAR mapping shows there has been no previous mining activity or prospecting in the area which provides for an opportunity for development and deeper exploration.

In addition to stream sampling, two small soil orientation surveys were completed on the north fringes of the HR3 goldfield area and the Cherry Tree South goldfield. Both soil surveys show coincidental elevated arsenic and antimony. Previous soil sampling at HR3 has identified arsenic and antimony as pathfinders to gold mineralisation.

ECR is now also re-analysing the core from its earlier drilling at the HR3 prospect at Bailieston for antimony. The Costerfield-Bailieston-Nagambie district is noted for economic veins of antimony and elevated antimony has been observed from previous pXRF analysis of the drill core.

Mike Whitlow Chief Operating Officer said: “Today’s news points to further potential value at our Creswick gold assets and we’re looking forward to the results from the remaining bulk samples from our “best holes” following onfrom our ‘off the rig’ sample results, which include observations of visible gold.”

Adam Jones Chief Geologist said: “Results from the Bailieston stream sampling survey are also encouraging and we firmly believe ground exploration above these streams is now merited. The Bailieston field is prospective for not only gold, but also for antimony, and we’re fortunate to be located between the two proven fields of Costerfield and Nagambie. Today’s results give further validation to our rationale to re-analyse our historical core from HR3 and Cherry Tree.”

REVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT BY QUALIFIED PERSON

This announcement has been reviewed by Adam Jones, Chief Geologist 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) 1738 317 693
Nick Tulloch, Chairman

Andrew Scott, Director

Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com
WH Ireland Ltd   Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 1666
Nominated Adviser

Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade

Axis Capital Markets Limited Tel: +44 (0) 203 026 0320
Broker
Ben Tadd/Lewis Jones
 
SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413500
Broker
Nick Emerson
Novum Securities Limited  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7399 9425
Broker

Jon Belliss

Brand Communications Tel: +44 (0) 7976 431608
Public & Investor Relations
Alan Green

Glossary

Au Gold
ppb parts per billion
pXRF Portable x-ray fluorescence (analyser)

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).

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 Lolworth Range, Queensland, Australia. The Company has also submitted a license application at Kondaparinga which is approximately 120km2 in area and located within the Hodgkinson Gold Province, 80km NW of Mareeba, North Queensland.

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), MGA 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.  MGA also has approximately A$75 million of unutilised tax losses incurred during previous operations.

ECR holds a royalty on the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina which could potentially receive up to US$2.7 million in aggregate across all licences

ECR Minerals #ECR COO Mike Whitlow provides a comprehensive operational update

ECR Minerals is busy wrapping up the previous drilling campaign, with encouraging results including high-grade findings at Davey Road and broader mineralization at Kuboid Hill. The company is revisiting Baillieston to renew licenses and explore historical data for antimony, recognizing the increasing global interest in this mineral. COO Mike Whitlow provides a full operational update.

ECR Minerals #ECR MD Nick Tulloch on his trip to Victoria

ECR Minerals #ECR MD Nick Tulloch discusses his trip to Victoria with Andrew Scott. He covers the site trips with Adam Jones to the Company’s key projects, and the opportunities identified.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Update on drilling plans & Extension of Directors Share Agreements

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to announce its intention to return to drilling in Victoria by the end of the year alongside an extension of the directors’ salary sacrifice scheme.

Drilling plans

Since their arrival in September 2023, the new management team of ECR have been examining the Company’s properties, including looking at ECR’s own historic data as well as the results of previous and current exploration activity in the locality.  Supported by professional advisers, the management team have conducted a thorough review of all information available, alongside an assessment of practical exploration objectives, in determining the Company’s forthcoming plans.

The Board as a whole has also been encouraged by the recent activity in Victoria, particularly the drilling intercepts by ASX listed Southern Cross Gold Ltd (ASX: SXG) at its Sunday Creek project and the recommencement of exploration to the north of Bendigo by ASX listed Falcon Metals Ltd. (ASX: FAL). With ECR’s infield work programme advancing into the progressive planning and development phase, the Board considers that this is the right time to re-evaluate ECR’s gold assets at Creswick and Bailieston for the Australian summer field season.  Drilling permissions have been approved by the relevant governmental authorities and the Board is currently negotiating contracts and pricing with a local drilling company with a target of commencing before the Christmas holiday period.  Importantly, any drilling undertaken will be funded from the Company’s existing cash resources.

Salary sacrifice

At the time of the fundraising announced in September 2023, four members of the board of directors, David Tang, Andrew Scott, Adam Jones and Trevor Davenport, agreed to subscribe for new ordinary shares in ECR (“New Ordinary Shares”) in lieu of an aggregate of £40,000 salary (£10,000 each), thereby further preserving the Company’s cash resources. These directors have agreed to extend this arrangement by subscribing for a further £40,000 (£10,000 each) of New Ordinary Shares in aggregate for the period up to 31 March 2024.

These New Ordinary Shares will be issued on or around 31 March 2024, with admission to trading commencing on or around 1 April 2024. The number of the New Ordinary Shares to be issued will be calculated by reference to (i) the price at which an equity fundraising in the Company is carried out in the period of the salary sacrifice or (ii) if there is no fundraising, the price equal to the volume weighted average price of ordinary shares in the Company calculated over the previous 14 days, provided always that the minimum ordinary share price that shall apply is 0.175 pence.  In each case, the issue of these New Ordinary Shares is conditional on the relevant person being a director of the Company.  A further announcement will be made at that time.

Nick Tulloch and Mike Whitlow are already remunerated substantially by the issue of New Ordinary Shares as announced on 18 September 2023.

ECR Chief Operations Officer Mike Whitlow commented: “The latest positive news within our postcode speaks for itself.  We take great encouragement from the recent announcements reported by our peers and we believe that ECR has sufficient upside opportunities in Victoria to warrant a return to drilling.  We will provide further details in the coming weeks as we finalise our plans.

“I am also pleased that our strategy is being further supported by members of the board who are continuing our ethos of aligning themselves with our shareholders and conserving the Company’s cash resources.”

Interview

Watch our Back to Victoria interview with Nick Tulloch and Adam Jones at the link below:

https://youtu.be/8P3NBq-LqfY

Non-Regulatory Announcement

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: 

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

Nick Tulloch, Managing Director

Andrew Scott, Director

Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com
SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413500
Broker
Nick Emerson
Novum Securities Limited  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7399 9425
Broker

Jon Belliss

Brand Communications Tel: +44 (0) 7976 431608
Public & Investor Relations
Alan Green

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 eight active exploration tenements and two in application (Ballarat and Tambo).

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 Lolworth Range, Queensland, Australia. The Company has also submitted a license application at Kondaparinga which is approximately 120km2 in area and located within the Hodgkinson Gold Province, 80km NW of Mareeba, North Queensland.

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.

ECR Minerals #ECR – CEO Andrew Haythorpe discusses exploration progress at Queensland & Victoria

ECR CEO Andrew Haythorpe discusses the latest exploration progress at Victoria and the transition to Queensland. Andrew discusses the potential he sees at Lolworth, with 30 different gold occurrences plus niobium and tantalum already at such an early phase. He then looks at the Hurricane project, and how the gold in veins at surface are consistently 1-5m thick (one was 60m thick), which leads to a consistent 1-5 g/t at surface, and the most recent project acquisition, the Blue Mountain project where there is a lot of alluvial gold. Andrew then covers how low cost work programmes including geophysics and geochemistry, RC drilling keep the costs down and will identify the biggest and best anomalies. On funding, there are plans for further asset sales, and he confirms ECR are fully funded for all QLD and Victoria exploration this year. In summary, Andrew believes the chances of pinning down a major find in Queensland is much better. ECR has the right people and right geology, plus there could be some major players keen on partnering in Queensland.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Funds From Sale of Bailieston Property Now Received

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, is pleased to announce that further to the announcement of 17 February 2023, the sale of the Company’s ‘Bailieston’ property located at 127 Nagambie-Rushworth Road within the Company’s 100% owned Bailieston license area has now completed, and the Company has now received the settlement balance of A$603,000 (a balance of A$67,000 was received in February 2023).

Highlights:

  • Cash sale price of A$670,000 (approximately £360k) agreed for the Nagambie-Rushworth Road property.
  • Final balance of A$603,000 now in the Company bank account and will be used to further explore the Company’s Queensland tenements specifically the Lolworth Project (Gold, Lithium/Tantalum/Niobium) and Hurricane (Gold/Antimony).
  • ECR is now fully funded for all scheduled exploration activities in 2023.
  • Transaction marks the second disposal from selected non-core assets as outlined in the announcement of July 6th 2022.

CEO Andrew Haythorpe commented: “I am pleased to announce the completion of the second in a series of planned disposals of non-core assets as outlined in our strategic plan last July. The funds from the Bailieston property sale will bolster our cash position and ensure we are fully funded to complete our scheduled activities at the Lolworth and Hurricane projects in Queensland this year.”  

“Discussions over further asset disposals are continuing and I look forward to providing further updates in due course.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

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

Andrew Haythorpe, CEO

Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com
WH Ireland Ltd   Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 1666
Nominated Adviser

Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade

SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413500
Broker
Nick Emerson
Novum Securities Limited  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7399 9425
Broker

Jon Belliss

Brand Communications Tel: +44 (0) 7976 431608
Public & Investor Relations
Alan Green

 

 

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.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Annual Report

LONDON: 3 APRIL 2023 – ECR Minerals plc is pleased to announce its audited financial statements for the twelve months ended 30 September 2022 (“FY 2022”). The information presented below has been extracted from the Company’s Annual Report and Accounts for FY2023.

Copies of the Annual Report and Accounts for FY2022 with the notice of annual general meeting have been posted to shareholders and are available on the Company’s website www.ecrminerals.com. The Company intends to hold its annual general meeting at 9am on 24 April 2023 at Hurlingham Studios, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6 3PA.

Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the UK version of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 which is part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended (“MAR”). Upon the publication of this announcement via a Regulatory Information Service, 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

Andrew Haythorpe, Chief Executive Officer

Adam Jones, Executive Director

Dr Trevor Davenport, Independent Non-Executive Director

Andrew Scott, Non-Executive Director

Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com
WH Ireland Ltd Tel: +44 (0)207 220 1666
Nominated Adviser
Katy Mitchell/Andrew de Andrade
SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1483 413500
Joint Broker
Nick Emerson
Novum Securities Limited Tel: +44 (0)2073 999400
Joint Broker
Jon Belliss

 

Brand Communications

Public & Investor Relations

Alan Green

Tel: +44 (0)7976 431608

 

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.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This announcement may include forward looking statements. Such statements may be subject to numerous 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 because of new information, future events or for any other reason.

The Directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Directors” or the “Board”) present their report and audited financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2022 for ECR Minerals plc (“ECR”, the “Company” or the “Parent Company”) and its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis (the “Group”)

 

Chairman’s Statement

Although the year to September 2022 has been a year of significant operational progress, it was overshadowed for the most part by the untimely and tragic death of long serving CEO Craig Brown. Craig was a close personal friend and confidant of mine, and his death in October 2021 was a profound shock to us all. A year on and his family are still with us as enthusiastic supporters and shareholders, keen to see his legacy fulfilled.

As a result of Craig’s death, an interim management committee was set up to oversee the continued smooth running of the Company, including the ongoing drill campaigns underway in Victoria. This was not without its challenges, but thanks to an experienced operational team on the ground in Victoria, our now Technical Director Adam Jones oversaw the continued smooth running and restart of diamond drilling activities at Bailieston.

The search for a CEO to replace Craig started at the end of 2021, and by April 2022, Andrew Haythorpe’s experience as a board member with numerous listed mining companies put him in pole position as our clear favoured candidate. Since his arrival, Andrew has adopted a structured and methodical approach in assessing our existing assets and as we have seen post year end, he is now bringing his own ideas and projects into the fold. The most significant manifestation of this was the announcement post year end that ECR had been granted a conditional option to acquire the entire issued share capital of Placer Gold Pty Ltd, the beneficial holder of three granted mining tenements (EPM 27518, EPM 25855 and EPM 19437) located in NE Queensland, together known as the Hurricane Project. Following a fundraise announced post year end, the Company is now in a position to potentially complete on the option acquisition once the steps outlined in the agreement have been undertaken. Hurricane is a late-stage exploration project that offers three tenements all highly prospective for gold and antimony.

ECR’s operational hub is currently centred in the state of Victoria in Australia, and through our wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”) we have continued to develop our projects at Bailieston and Creswick. Through our other wholly owned subsidiary LUX Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”) we are continuing to develop potential gold and battery metals assets in the Lolworth Range area in Northern Queensland and following the grant of exploration licences there in February 2022, our field team have undertaken a comprehensive stream sediment sampling campaign, with some impressive results announced post year end.

In Victoria, following the discovery of the highest-grade gold intercept yet revealed at the Historic Reserve #3 (HR3) prospect, the MGA team completed a series of intensive diamond drilling campaigns at HR3, including the prospective Byron, Dan Genders, Scoulars and Maori Reefs, plus numerous cross-structures. In August 2022, despite delays in receiving assay results from the labs, results from several holes led to the discovery of two mineralisation corridors within the Maori Anticline at Historic Reserve 3 (HR3). Post year end, we announced final gold results from the 2022 HR3 drill programme and, along with the earlier results, the full dataset is now undergoing evaluation prior to announcing our next steps for 2023. Also post year end, a further two exploration licences were granted to MGA at Bailieston, bringing our total land package there to 179 square km, including our own property at Nagambie Rushworth Road, acquired in summer 2021.

Of all the Bailieston projects, it was Blue Moon that piqued our new CEO’s interest due to its unusual geology. Blue Moon was finally drilled at the end of the year in focus, and post year end an encouraging grade from the first Blue Moon drill hole was reported.

Historically, a lot of investor interest has centred on our Creswick project, where ECR also owns a second property at Springmount. Following a visit to the Creswick tenements with Technical Director Adam Jones earlier this year, Andrew Haythorpe took the decision that the Company should re-assay the Creswick diamond drill core. This proved to be a master stroke, with high grade results revealed including 0.7m @47.75 g/t Au (see announcement dated [19 October 2022] for the full details of these results). Our key licence there was renewed during the year for a further 5 years, and along with the grant of the adjacent Ballarat East Nerrina Goldfield licence, our team are gearing up for a new focus on Creswick in 2023.

ECR (through MGA) also owns two exploration licences in eastern Victoria, known as the Tambo project. Licence EL007484 covering the Tambo River and Swifts Creek region was granted in December 2021, and this territory will also be in focus for exploration in 2023.

In December 2021, ECR formalised its 25% shareholding in Cordillera Tiger Gold Resources, owner of Exploration Licence EP-006 at the Danglay Gold Project, N Philippines. April 2022 saw ECR acquire further shares from an existing shareholder to take a majority 70% stake in the project, bringing the nascent value at Danglay back to the fore on our balance sheet. With our focus very much on Australia, several options are being explored to crystallize value here.

In maintaining intensive drilling campaigns and exploration activities, ECR’s capital position has reduced during the year, and now stands at £612,582. Following the previously mentioned post year end fundraising, and the sale of the Bendigo property announced in August 2022. With further asset disposals under consideration, the costs of our scheduled activities for the coming year are in hand.

We have significantly advanced the value of our assets across the group during the year, and now with Andrew’s leadership I believe we have never been better positioned to deliver transformative value to our shareholders.

Weili (David) Tang
Chairman
31 March 2023

Chief Executive Officer Report

In my first report to you as your CEO, I must first pay tribute to my predecessor Craig Brown. I am under no illusions that his are big shoes to fill, but it is my sincere hope that with his family seeking fulfilment of his legacy, I and your Board can bring some of these key assets to fruition.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the Interim Committee of Chairman David Tang, Technical Director Adam Jones, and Non-Executive Director’s Andrew Scott and Trevor Davenport for overseeing the day to day running of the business before my arrival.

The early part of the year saw the gold price continue to build, pushing back over US$2,000oz in March, nearly reaching the highs of US$2,067 oz in March 2020. That was the best performance segment of the year however, as rising interest rates and hawkish outlooks from the US Fed and the European Central Bank saw the gold price slide lower to close out the ECR financial year at US$1,618 oz. It should be remembered that although gold is considered a hedge against rising inflation, higher rates raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, which will invariably weigh on the gold price. Post year end we have seen a resurgence in value, which we believe is due to gold’s compelling safe-haven status set against a highly uncertain macro picture.

Since my arrival in April 2022 I have focussed on ECR’s existing drilling operations in Victoria, Australia. I took time to get to know the projects at Bailieston and Creswick so I could form a judgement on how these assets could fit into an expanding gold exploration Company. I was very impressed with what I found. I spent time exploring the locations with Adam Jones, and as a geologist I was highly impressed with both the work he’d overseen to date and also his ideas on further developing each project.

With my knowledge of Northern prior experience exploring in North Queensland, I was already aware of the history and relatively unexplored nature of Lolworth Range near to the Charters Towers region, and, along with Adam Jones, I am equally enthusiastic over the opportunity and visible gold observed in the field with assays now returning from the initial field campaign. I also look forward to exploring and possibly developing the Hurricane project, on which ECR announced a conditional option to buy 100% for cash and shares in 2023 just after the financial year end.

Victoria Work Overview:

 

Bailieston:

 

The Bailieston area is sited 47 km east of Kirkland Lake Gold’s prolific Fosterville gold mine, which produced 509,601 ounces in 2021, with head grades approaching 23.7g/t. To date, ECR has drilled 9,485m at Bailieston across several projects since Jan 2021. Following the discovery of the highest-grade gold intercept yet revealed at the Historic Reserve #3 (HR3) prospect, the team completed a series of intensive diamond drilling campaigns at HR3, and in August 2022, results from several holes led to the discovery of two mineralised corridors within the Maori Anticline at HR3. Post year end, we announced final gold results from the 2022 HR3 drill programme and, along with the earlier results, this full dataset is now being evaluated by our geology team. Also post year end, a further two exploration licenses were granted at Bailieston, bringing our total land package there to 179 square km, including our own property at Nagambie Rushworth Road, acquired in summer 2021.

Of particular interest is the Blue Moon project due to its unusual geology and mineralization style. It offers unusually broad width and consistency (true width up to 7m). RC drilling in 2019 revealed 11m @ 5.13 g/t Au and 21m @ g/t Au, with mineralisation open to the east, west and down-dip. Once all the results are received, we can then make decisions on next steps.

Creswick:

During the summer of 2022, the management team came to London where I presented our investment case at the Proactive One 2 One event. Post year end I returned to London to attend 121 Mining Investment and Mines and Money. On each visit I was struck by how much investor interest was centred around Creswick in the wake of works and drilling undertaken there since 2019. It is also here at Springmount that ECR owns a second property with some historical mine workings on the land. Following my initial visit to the Creswick tenements with Technical Director Adam Jones earlier this year, we decided re-assay the Creswick diamond drill core. This proved to be a good decision, and just after our year end, the re assay revealed high grade results including 0.7m @47.75 g/t Au. Our key license there was renewed during the year for a further 5 years, and along with the grant of the adjacent Ballarat East Nerrina Goldfield license, armed with the re assay data our team are gearing up for a new focus on Creswick in 2023.

 

Tambo:

There are two exploration licences one still in application and the other now granted in eastern Victoria, known as the Tambo project. Licence EL007484 covering the Tambo River and Swifts Creek region was granted in December 2021, and this territory will also be in focus for exploration in 2023. The territory covers portions of the historic Swifts Creek/Omeo and Tambo River Goldfields that have recorded historical gold production totalling 225,000 oz (Geological Survey of Victoria). Tambo is considered to be prospective for orogenic reef gold and additionally for intrusion-related gold and base metal systems.

N Queensland Work Overview:

Lolworth Range

The Lolworth Range area in North Queensland has been closely monitored by ECR’s Head Geologist Adam Jones for at least eight years and is considered prospective for gold. In February 2022, exploration licences for tenements EPM27901, EPM27902 and EPM27903 were granted (they will expire in five years on 31 January 2027). ECR has a commitment expenditure of AUD$650,000 for the first three years across the three licence areas, and our team wasted no time in getting on the ground there, undertaking a comprehensive stream sediment sampling campaign, with some impressive results announced post year end with visible gold in 14% of the first 125 stream sediment samples. This is very encouraging. Further anomalies with tin and tungsten, plus multiple pegmatites (potential lithium sources) were observed and we are now putting together a follow up plan of action.

Hurricane Project (Post Year End)

Post year end, ECR was granted a conditional option to acquire the entire issued share capital of Placer Gold Pty Ltd, the beneficial holder of three granted mining tenements (EPM 27518, EPM 25855 and EPM 19437) located in NE Queensland, together known as the Hurricane Project. Hurricane was discovered 5 years ago by a geologist who followed the Hodgkinson River tributaries to their source and discovered numerous gold veins at surface with grades ranging from 1- 20g/t over widths of 0.5-7m. Here ECR has a conditional option to buy outright for cash and shares in 2023, and with a modest A$200,000 spend commitment, we now have a drilling campaign planned there for July 2023. The acquisition will complete subject to those results. We consider Hurricane to be a late-stage exploration project with three tenements all highly prospective for gold and antimony.

 

Overview of Exploration Licence Portfolio

 

At the end of the financial year under review, ECR held three granted mineral exploration licences in Victoria (EL005433, EL006148 and EL006907). The granting of Creswick license EL006907 to the south of EL006148 links Creswick to the Ballarat East-Nerrina Goldfield. ECR holds granted exploration licence EL5433 at Bailieston and post year end has been granted Bailieston licenses EK006911 and EL 006912.  At Tambo ECR owns granted exploration licence EL007484 covering Swifts Creek and the Tambo River.

ECR holds three exploration licences (EPM27901, EPM27902 and EPM27903) in the Lolworth area, North Queensland, and subject to exercise of the option to acquire Placer Gold Ltd (Hurricane Project), will own granted exploration licenses EPM 27518, EPM 25855 and EPM 19437.

These are augmented by exploration licence application EL007296 at Bailieston, exploration licence application EL006713 at Creswick and exploration license EL007486 at Tambo.

In November 2020, ECR lodged exploration licence application EL007537 for an area which surrounds mining licences MIN5396 and MIN4847. These mining licences, which are not held by ECR, contain the operating Ballarat gold mine. The area of EL007537 includes the southern extension of the Dimocks Main Shale, which is the principal target of exploration at the Creswick gold project located a short distance to the north, the northern extension of the Ballarat East line and the depth extensions of the Ballarat West line. EL007537 is in a competitive bid with three other applicants.

Danglay Gold Project, Philippines

 

In December 2021, ECR formalised its 25% shareholding in Cordillera Tiger Gold Resources, owner of Exploration License EP-006 at the Danglay Gold Project, N Philippines. The project is located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. April 2022 saw ECR acquire further shares from an existing shareholder to take a majority 70% stake in the project, bringing the nascent value at Danglay back to the fore on the ECR balance sheet. With our focus very much on Australia, several options are being explored to crystallize value here. We will report back to the markets in due course.

Avoca and Timor Exploration Licence Royalties

 

In April 2020 MGA entered into an agreement for the sale of Avoca and Timor exploration licences EL5387, EL006280, EL006913 and EL006278 in Victoria to Currawong Resources Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fosterville South Exploration Ltd. A cash payment of US$500,000 was received, and ECR is entitled to:

  1. 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; and
  2. 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.

SLM Gold Project Royalties

In February 2020, the Company sold its wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA, which holds the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina. The sale allows ECR to focus on its core gold exploration activities in Australia.  The purchaser, Hanaq Argentina SA (“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 NSR royalty of up to 2% to a maximum of USD 2.7 million in respect of future production from the SLM gold project, owned by Hanaq Argentina SA (Hanaq).  The Directors believe 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.

FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2021

As a Group which is not generating revenue from operations, means that profit and loss is a metric of less utility than in many other businesses. For the year to 30 September 2022 the Group recorded a total comprehensive loss of £2,272,658 compared with £1,113,870 for the year to 30 September 2021. This increase is reflected principally in the impairment of Danglay Gold project.

The Group’s net assets at 30 September 2022 were £5,871,625 in comparison with £7,657,684 at 30 September 2021.

We have taken measures to preserve cash going forward, including asset disposals. ECR currently owns two properties in Victoria at Nagambie-Rushworth Road, Bailieston and at Brewing Lane, Springmount in Creswick. A third property close to Bendigo was disposed of during the year in question, raising a further A$950,000 (£550,000) toward our project exploration campaigns. Further disposals are under consideration, and post year end, the Company raised a further £900,000 before expenses. The Group expect further disposal in 2023, potential fundraising and exercising of outstanding warrants can cover our scheduled exploration costs for the foreseeable future.

Finally I would like to put on record my thanks to ECR shareholders for their continued support, and secondly for the welcome I have received from so many I have met at events and shows throughout the year. I fully expect to deliver some meaningful results from our key projects in the coming year, along with some real shareholder value.

Andrew Haythorpe

CEO

31 March 2023

Link here to view the full financial statements

ECR Minerals #ECR – Sale of Bailieston Property Raises A$670,000

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, is pleased to announce that it has executed a sale and purchase agreement for the sale of the Company’s ‘Bailieston’ property located at 127 Nagambie-Rushworth Road within the Company’s 100% owned Bailieston license area.

Highlights:

  • A cash sale price of A$670,000 has been agreed for the Nagambie-Rushworth Road property, with a deposit of A$67,000 already received.
  • Funds raised will be deployed into ECR’s ongoing 2023 exploration programme.
  • The transaction marks the second disposal from selected non-core assets as outlined in the announcement of July 6th 2022
  • Completion of the transaction and settlement of the A$603,000 final balance is expected to occur on or around April 27 2023.

CEO Andrew Haythorpe commented: “I am pleased to report that we have actioned the second in a series of planned disposals of non-core assets as outlined in our strategic plan last July. Once the sale completes, the proceeds will significantly bolster our cash position, ensuring that ECR can maintain all scheduled exploration and drilling activities.”

“Discussions over further asset disposals are continuing and I look forward to providing further updates in due course.”

Sale of 127 Nagambie-Rushworth Road

A Contract of Sale for the Nagambie-Rushworth Road property has been executed, with settlement and completion anticipated to occur on or around April 27 2023. A deposit of A$67,000 has already been paid, with the balance of A$603,000 due on completion. The buyer is a private individual.

As previously announced, further non-core asset disposals are planned, and we will update the markets in due course as appropriate.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

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

Andrew Haythorpe, CEO

Email:

info@ecrminerals.com

Website: www.ecrminerals.com
WH Ireland Ltd   Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 1666
Nominated Adviser

Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade

SI Capital Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413500
Broker
Nick Emerson
Novum Securities Limited  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7399 9425
Broker

Jon Belliss

Brand Communications Tel: +44 (0) 7976 431608
Public & Investor Relations
Alan Green

 

 

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 70% 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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