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Time to Fillyaboots with ECR Minerals (AIM:ECR) as Victoria Gold Projects continue to evolve and gold attracts record investments.
Time to Fillyaboots with ECR Minerals (AIM:ECR) as Victoria Gold Projects continue to evolve and gold attracts record investments.
- High grade assays at Timor
- Exploration underway at Avoca
- Whole of bag testing results at Creswick
- Record breaking month for gold
- Time to Fillyaboots
For those keen on regular progress updates, Australia-focussed mining company ECR Minerals (AIM: ECR) hits the mark by keeping investors up to date with their every move on Twitter. Of late, the three major developments over August at Timor, Avoca and Creswick projects have focussed attention, driven as much as anything by the rising demand for gold amid dwindling macroeconomic conditions.
1) High grade assay results demonstrate potential for Timor Gold Project to follow in the footsteps of Maryborough goldfield
The first of these was an impressive set of rock chip sampling results at the Timor project, which gave ECR investors plenty to smile about at the beginning of the month.
High grade gold assays of 22.6 g/t and 26.3 g/t were recorded respectively from Shaw’s Reef and Anglo-Saxon Reef prospects.
Mined to 152m depth, ECR revealed that Shaw’s Reef had produced 11,465 ounces at a grade of 20.93 g/t Au. Meanwhile, four samples from the Anglo-Saxon Reef averaged 8.12 g/t Au.
Not bad eh? Well on top of that, the reconnaissance had also “discovered the Brilliant / Northumbria reef and its extensive gold workings, including an old open cut” ..according to CEO Craig Brown.
“This prospect area extends over a length of approximately 500m and is up to 80m wide and assays from 13 samples indicate widespread low-grade gold mineralisation.”
These results indicate that Timor may well follow on from the historical success of the Maryborough Goldfield.
Maryborough, which lies within the area covered by the Timor license, previously 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.
Northumbria Reef open cut
2) Avoca Exploration Underway
In addition to Timor, there was plenty of news forthcoming from ECR’s other Victoria sites. On the 14th of August the Company announced it had begun exploration at Henry’s Hill within the Avoca gold project license area.
The company now has active exploration works underway at four projects within the Victorian goldfields region, including Bailieston, Creswick, Timor and now Avoca.
“We are delighted to be highly active in the Victoria Goldfields region, at a time when the area is attracting considerable interest from larger companies and investors” commented Craig Brown.
Previously seven samples have been taken from the roadside reserve at Henry’s Hill, with three of these returning 5.1, 1.4 and 1.3 g/t gold.
With land access permission secured from the landowner and ever keen to keep the ball rolling, ECR will be commencing soil geochemistry and field mapping imminently.
3) Whole of bag testing results at Creswick:
Now for Creswick, the one we’ve all been waiting on. This is ECR’s strategic priority, with potential to be a multi-million ounce gold deposit.
Craig Brown and his team have been quick to try to progress the project and understand the impact of the nuggety nature of it’s gold deposits – conducting whole-of-bag testing in order to gain more representative results than from the original 2 kg assays.
Despite delays due to inclement weather at Victoria, ECR were happy to announce that work was underway and generating important results from the gravity and electrostatic concentration (GEC) of gold process, constructed under the guidance of the highly accredited resource geologist Keith Whitehouse.
GEC uses the dual processes of gravity and chargeability, which not only sounds rather impressive, but is capable of removing coarse, fine and ultrafine particles of gold from the RC samples.
According to Craig Brown.. “the results so far have demonstrated significant variability from the original assays, demonstrating that the small sample size can overstate and understate results.”
“Notably the original 44.63 g/t assay from the 2 kg sample from CSR006 (15-16 m) is increased to 63.03 g/t.”
To help support the process, ECR have appointed mining geologist and geometallurgist Dr Simon Dominy. With over 25 years’ experience Dr Dominy looks to be the man to help ECR evaluate their results, review the sampling process and guide future exploration & project development work at Creswick.
Gold sets record breaking highs
From a timing standpoint, ECR have hit the metaphorical bullseye considering the rapid rise in demand for safe-haven gold. Investors ploughed almost $5bn into the precious metal in August amid ongoing trade tensions and diminishing macroeconomic conditions, taking it to its highest level since April 2013.
Prices have remained high moving into September, with levels closing at US$1,551 a troy ounce on Wednesday the 4th of September. Analysts see no sign of prices dipping either.
Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) have said that US gold prices could be set for new record highs. Meanwhile Goldman Sachs upgraded its 6-month gold forecast at the beginning of August to $1,600 an ounce as trade tensions continue to escalate.
“The dollar price of gold is on far more stable ground than it was about a decade ago. Some combination of sustained greenback strength and rapid stock-market appreciation should be necessary to suppress the metal’s price … Bottoming with the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hike in 2015, the gold price appears to be situated for brighter days,” McGlone said in a September update.
Worsening economic data and the fast approaching Brexit deadline have also pushed the price of gold in British Pounds and Euros to new record highs.
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce was up more than 50% from the eve of the UK’s vote to leave the EU back in June 2016, hitting £1279 on Tuesday the 3rd of September.
Time to Fillyaboots
All said, while ECR could be accused of being slightly trigger happy with their posts on Twitter, the reality is that the company have a lot to talk about.
As well as gold’s strength, with active exploration underway at four sites in Victoria and with nine exploration licences in the highly prospective Yilgarn region, ECR Minerals are certainly a company worth your attention if you’re looking to join the gold rush.
Each month the company continues to materially progress its projects, with August no exception. Timor’s high grade assay results give plenty of hope, putting a solid floor under the Company valuation, whilst recent exploration at Avoca demonstrates yet again that ECR are not resting on their laurels.
Finally, and of most importance thorough testing appears to be fully underway at Creswick, meaning ECR are moving ever closer to understanding the true value of their potential multi million ounce gold deposit. And with a market cap at just GBP3.5m, there has never been a better time to fillyaboots with this ambitious gold explorer.
By Harry Dacres-Dixon
- 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