ECR is a mineral exploration and development company, incorporated in the UK.

ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia (MGA) has agreed to acquire 100% ownership of the Avoca and Bailieston gold projects in Victoria, Australia. Mercator Gold Australia is estimated to have tax losses of approximately AUD 66M as at 30 June 2015, which may be available, subject to certain conditions (as described in ECR’s announcement dated 4 December 2014), to reduce MGA’s future taxable profits.

ECR has the right to earn a 50% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project in the Philippines. Danglay is an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. An NI43-101 technical report was completed in respect of the Danglay project in December 2015, and is available for download from ECR’s website.

ECR’s wholly owned subsidiary Ochre Mining has a 100% interest in the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near term production.

 

ECR shares are listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange with the symbol ECR.

ECR MINERALS plc

(“ECR Minerals”, “ECR” or the “Company”)

 

AIM: ECR

US OTC: MTGDY

 

 

LONDON: 30 JUNE 2017 - The directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Directors”) are pleased to announce the Company’s unaudited half-yearly results for the six months to 31 March 2017, along with an update on the Group’s activities.

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S REPORT

 

This report is written at an exciting time for ECR as it recommences it’s drilling activities.  In the past few weeks, the Company has completed an initial drilling programme in the Byron area, the first of a number of targets planned for testing at its 100%-owned gold projects in Victoria, Australia.  ECR is also looking to commence drilling at its Argentinian projects in the near future. Following the success of our recent fundraising activities, ECR is, for the first time in several years, in a strong financial position and able to look to the future with confidence.

 

AVOCA, BAILIESTON AND TIMOR GOLD PROJECTS - Victoria, Australia

 

The Company’s immediate focus is on the Byron area at the Bailieston project (EL5433).  A 592 m reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme was recently completed at Byron. The programme comprised 7 holes intended to target extensions to the high-grade mineralisation mined historically and intersected by drilling in the 1980s. 

 

Numerous high grade drilling results have recently been reported from the Fosterville gold mine, which is located around 30km from the Bailieston project and owned by Kirkland Lake Gold.  The Costerfield gold mine owned by Mandalay Resources also lies 30km from Bailieston.  With the existence of these modern producing mines in the district, the Directors believe that drilling success at Bailieston by ECR should generate a significant degree of market interest.  The results of the drilling are expected to be available within the next 1-2 months.

 

In March 2017, ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”) was granted a new exploration licence (EL6278) in Victoria, covering 228 square kilometres and encompassing a large number of historical hard rock and deep lead (buried alluvial) mining areas.  The Company’s initial strategy for this licence, which is known as the Timor project, is to use historical records and on-the-ground reconnaissance to prioritise the main exploration prospects and identify primary targets for drilling. 

 

The approval and registration of the transfer of the Avoca project licence (EL5387) from Currawong Resources to MGA is still in process, and the Company will further refine its plans for exploration at Avoca once this licence has been transferred.  ECR has already identified nine initial hard-rock targets for drilling at Avoca, with deep lead gold deposits confirmed as an additional target type warranting further evaluation.

 

SLM GOLD PROJECT - Argentina

 

Preparations have been made in recent months for drilling at the JV and El Abra prospects, after the determination of JORC Exploration Targets for these two prospects in January 2017.  The preparations have included the establishment of drill pads, as well as permitting activities and liaison with the provincial government.

 

For details of the Exploration Targets, please refer to the Company’s announcement dated 27 January 2017.  A programme of approximately 2,000m of RC drilling has been designed for the JV prospect, with an additional 300m planned for El Abra.  The aim of the drilling will be to enable the estimation of Mineral Resources compliant with the JORC Code for both prospects.  Drilling is planned to commence in August 2017.  

 

DANGLAY GOLD PROJECT - Philippines

 

Further to the updates announced by the Company on 24 February and 31 March 2017 in relation to the Danglay gold project, having been advised on 31 March 2017 that the board of Cordillera Tiger Gold Resources, Inc. (“CTGR”) had resolved to issue a 25% shareholding in CTGR to ECR, the Company was disappointed to become aware of a legal challenge to the issuance of the shares which has been initiated in the Philippines by Tiger International Resources, Inc. (“TGR”). As a result, ECR has not yet been issued shares in CTGR.  ECR is entitled to a 25% interest in CTGR under the Earn-In & Joint Venture Agreement between the Company, CTGR and TGR, and considers TGR’s legal challenge to be without merit. 

 

ECR is in dialogue with both CTGR and TGR, and although there can be no guarantee, it is hoped that an amicable solution can be reached.  In addition, Ivor Jones, a director of ECR and its Chief Operating Officer, visited the Danglay project earlier this month and following this visit, the Directors continue to believe that significant exploration potential exists at the project.  An initial NI43-101 Mineral Resource was estimated for the project in December 2015, following extensive exploration carried out by ECR during 2014 and 2015.  A copy of the corresponding NI43-101 technical report is available for download from the Company’s website. 

 

With the removal in May 2017 of Regina Lopez as Secretary of the Philippine Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), the political outlook for the mining industry in the Philippines has improved, although uncertainty remains.  In view of the disruption caused by the tenure of Ms. Lopez as DENR Secretary, it is unsurprising that the renewal of the Exploration Permit (EP) comprising the Danglay project has yet to be received by CTGR. The Directors remain of the view that the EP is likely to be renewed in due course, and ECR is ready to work with all parties to preserve the value of Danglay as a significant exploration opportunity in the prolifically gold-copper mineralised Baguio District.

 

FINANCIAL RESULTS AND RECENT FUNDRAISING

 

For the six months ended 31 March 2017 the financial statements of the Company as consolidated with its subsidiaries (the “Group”) record a total comprehensive expense of £432,339, the largest component of which is other administrative expenses of £431,492, which relate primarily to the development of the Company’s projects, but which cannot be capitalised under applicable accounting standards.  The Group reported a total comprehensive expense of £533,170 for the six months ended 31 March 2016.

 

The Group’s net assets were £2,382,561 at 31 March 2017 compared with £1,907,983 at 31 March 2016.

 

Since the 31 March 2017, the Group’s financial position has strengthened considerably following the completion this month of an oversubscribed placing through Optiva Securities raising gross proceeds of £1,000,000 and a subscription with Shenyang Xinliaoan Machinery Co Ltd (“Shenyang”) which raised gross proceeds of £553,564.  Following completion of the subscription and placing, Shenyang has a 22% shareholding in ECR, and importantly, the Shenyang shares are subject to a 12-month lock-up.  The Directors are pleased to welcome Shenyang as strategic, long-term investors in ECR.

 

 

Craig Brown

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

ABOUT ECR

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia has 100% ownership of the Avoca, Bailieston and Timor gold projects in Victoria, Australia. ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. An NI43-101 technical report was completed in respect of the Danglay project in December 2015, and is available for download from ECR’s website.

ECR’s wholly owned subsidiary Ochre Mining has a 100% interest in the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near term production.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

 

ECR Minerals plc

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010

William (Bill) Howell, Non-Executive Chairman

 

Craig Brown, Director & CEO

Ivor Jones, Director & COO

 

 

 

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Website:  www.ecrminerals.com

 

 

 

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880

Nominated Adviser

 

Emma Earl / Jo Turner

 

 

 

Optiva Securities Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)203 137 1902

Broker

 

Graeme Dickson

 

 

 

FlowComms

Tel: +44 (0)7891 677 441

Investor Relations

 

Sasha Sethi

 

 

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This announcement may include forward looking statements. Such statements may be subject to a number of 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 as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Income Statement

 

For the six months ended 31 March 2017

 

 

   Six months ended

      31 March 2017

Six months ended 

31 March 2016

Year  ended

30 September 2016

 

 

 

                 

 

 

Continuing operations

               £

     £

£

 

 

 

 

 

Other administrative expenses

(431,492)

(296,286)

(677,873)

Currency exchange differences

(1,335)

(95)

9,399

Impairment of other current assets

(780)

Total administrative expenses

(432,827)

(297,161)

(668,474)

Operating loss

(432,827)

(297,161)

(668,474)

Other income

 

 

34,688

Loss on disposal of available for sale financial assets

(609)

Fair value movements – available for sale financial asset

(1,108)

(18,893)

 

(433,935)

(297,770)

(652,679)

Finance income

131

21

484

Finance costs

(135,370)

(267,511)

Finance income and costs

131

(135,349)

(267,027)

 

Loss for the period before taxation

(433,804)

(433,119)

(919,706)

 

Income tax

 

Loss for the period

(433,804)

(433,119)

(919,706)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Loss attributable to:

 

 

 

 

 Owners of the parent

(433,804)

(433,119)

(919,706)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss per share – basic and diluted

(0.33)p

(1.32)p

(2.00)p

 

               

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

For the six months ended 31 March 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Six months ended

      31 March 2017

  Six months ended 

      31 March 2016

Year  ended

30 September 2016

 

 

                     

 

 

                £

                  £

£

Loss for the period

(433,804)

(433,119)

(919,706)

 

 

 

 

Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain/(losses) on exchange translation

1,465

(100,051)

(96,886)

Other comprehensive income/(expense) for the period

1,465

(100,051)

(96,886)

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive expense for the period

(432,339)

(533,170)

(1,016,592)

 

 

 

 

Attributable to:

 

 

 

Owners of the parent

(432,339)

(533,170)

(1,016,592)

           

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

At 31 March 2017

 

 

As at

31 March 2017

As at

31 March 2016

As at

30 September 2016

Assets

£

£

£

Non–current assets

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment

11,483

6,237

6,237

Exploration assets

2,556,688

2,224,024

2,437,608

Deferred tax asset

Total non-current assets

2,568,171

2,230,261

2,443,845

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

Trade and other receivables

9,927

4,712

5,470

Available for sale financial assets

19,906

39,277

21,014

Taxation

70,816

36,282

38,059

Other current assets

2,672

2,672

Cash and cash equivalents

107,508

103,883

471,809

 

208,157

186,826

539,024

Total assets

2,776,328

2,417,087

2,982,869

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

393,767

409,886

302,242

Interest bearing borrowings

99,218

-

Total liabilities

393,767

509,104

302,242

 

Net assets

2,382,561

1,907,983

2,680,627

 

 

 

 

Equity attributable to owners of the parent

 

 

 

Share capital

11,281,695

11,103,901

11,281,628

Share premium

42,508,217

41,443,507

42,441,553

Exchange reserve

(165,070)

(169,700)

(166,535)

Other reserves

1,215,259

1,067,423

1,147,717

Retained losses

(52,457,540)

(51,537,149)

(52,023,736)

 

Total equity

2,382,561

1,907,983

2,680,627

 

 

 

 


 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated statement of changes in equity

For the six months ended 31March 2017

 

 

Share capital

Share premium

Exchange

reserves

Other

reserves

Retained

reserves

Total

Equity

 

£

£

£

£

£

£

 

At 1 October 2015

11,071,602

40,802,469

(69,649)

845,677

(51,104,030)

1,546,069

Loss for the period

(433,119)

(433,119)

Loss on exchange translation

(100,051)

(100,051)

Attributable share of changes in equity of associated company

 

 

Total comprehensive income /(expense)

(100,051)

(433,119)

(533,170)

Conversion of loan

18,721

550,480

569,201

Share issue costs

(4,500)

(4,500)

Shares issued

12,500

59,197

71,697

Warrants issued

178,303

178,303

Share based payments

43,443

43,443

Shares issued in payment of creditors

1,078

35,861

36,939

 

At 31 March 2016

11,103,901

41,443,507

(169,700)

1,067,423

(51,537,149)

   1,907,983

Loss for the period

(486,587)

(486,587)

Loss on exchange translation

3,165

3,165

Attributable share of changes in equity of associated company

 

 

Total comprehensive income /(expense)

3,165

(486,587)

(483,422)

Conversion of loan

15,952

(48,898)

(32,946)

Share issue costs

(51,250)

(51,250)

Shares issued

135,000

893,303

1,028,303

Share based payments

80,294

80,294

Shares issued in payment of creditors

26,775

204,891

231,666

 

At 30 September 2016

11,281,628

42,441,553

(166,535)

1,147,717

(52,023,736)

   2,680,627

Loss for the period

(433,804)

(433,804)

Loss on exchange translation

1,465

1,465

Attributable share of changes in equity of associated company

 

 

Total comprehensive income /(expense)

1,465

(433,804)

(432,339)

Share based payments

67,542

67,542

Shares issued in payment of creditors

67

66,664

66,731

 

At 31 March 2017

11,281,695

42,508,217

(165,070)

1,215,259

(52,457,540)

   2,382,561

 

 

 


Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

 

For the six months ended 31 March 2017

 

 

Six months ended  31 March 2017

Six months ended 

31 March 2016

Year ended

30 September 2016

 

£

£

£

 

 

 

 

Net cash flow used in operations

(241,445)

(202,513)

(494,118)

Investing activities

Increase in exploration assets

(191,080)

(191,851)

(319,580)

Purchase of property, plant & equipment

(3,776)

Interest received

21

484

 

 

 

 

Net cash used in investing activities

(122,856)

(191,830)

(319,096)



Financing activities

Proceeds from issue of shares and warrants

250,000

1,100,000

Proceeds from convertible loan

174,801   

418,463

Repayment of convertible loan notes

(248,332)

Finance costs on fundraising

(4,500)

(55,750)

Interest paid and other financing costs

(12,222)

(31,385)

 

 

 

 

Net cash from financing activities

408,079

1,182,996

 

 

 

 

 

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

(364,301)

13,736

369,782

 

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the period

471,809

90,398

90,398

Effect of change in exchange rates

(251)

11,629

Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period

107,508

103,883

471,809

                 


Notes to the Condensed Half-Yearly Financial Statements

For the six months ended 31 March 2017

 

  1. 1.       Basis of preparation

 

The condensed consolidated half-yearly financial statements incorporate the financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) made up to 31 March 2017. The results of the subsidiaries are consolidated from the date of acquisition, being the date on which the Company obtains control, and continues to be consolidated until the date such control ceases.

 

These condensed half-yearly consolidated financial statements do not include all of the information required for full annual financial statements, and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of the Group for the year ended 30 September 2016. They have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies adopted in the last annual financial statements for the year to 30 September 2016.  The report of the auditors on those accounts was unqualified and did not contain a statement under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006, but did include a reference to matters which the auditors drew attention to by way of emphasis without qualifying their report.

 

The accounting policies have been applied consistently throughout the Group for the purpose of preparation of these consolidated half-yearly financial statements.

 

The financial information in this statement does not constitute full statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006.  The financial information for the six months ended 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2016 is unaudited.  The comparative figures for the period ended 30 September 2016 were derived from the Group’s audited financial statements for that period as filed with the Registrar of Companies.  They do not constitute the financial statements for that period.

 

  1. 2.       Going concern

The Directors are satisfied that the Company has sufficient resources to continue its operations and to meet its commitments for the immediate future. The Group therefore continues to adopt the going concern basis in preparing its condensed half-yearly financial statements.

 

  1. 3.       Cash and cash equivalents

Cash includes petty cash and cash held in bank current accounts. Cash equivalents include short-term investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to insignificant risk of changes in value.

 

  1. Loss per share

 

Six months ended 

31 March 2017

Six months ended 

31 March 2016

Year ended

30 September

2016

 

Weighted number of shares in issue during the period

130,179,729

32,700,218

45,909,477

 

 

 

 

 

£

£

£

Loss from continuing operations attributable to owners of the parent

 

(433,804)

 

(433,119)

 

(919,706)

 

For the purpose of presenting a fair comparison the weighted number of shares  in issue in previous periods has been divided by 200 to reflect the consolidation approved by shareholders on 21 November 2016.

 

The disclosure of the diluted loss per share is the same as the basic loss per share as the conversion of share options decreases the basic loss per share thus being anti-dilutive.        

 

  1. 5.       Income tax

No charge to tax arises on the results and no deferred tax provision arises or deferred tax asset is identified.

  1. 6.       Related party transactions

The Directors are the only key management.

Directors’ remuneration during the period was as follows:

 

Six months ended 31 March

2017

Six months ended 31 March

2016

Year ended

30 September

2016

 

£

£

£

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directors’ emoluments

108,885

106,500

213,167

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share-based payments

67,542

 

Total emoluments

176,427

106,500

213,167

 

           

 

                       

There were no other related party transactions during the period.

 

  1. 7.       Shares and options transactions during the period

 

On 21 November 2016 the shareholders approved a 200:1 consolidation of the ordinary share capital of the company.

 

On 27 February 2017 the Company announced that it had conditionally raised gross proceeds of £553,564 (“Gross Proceeds”) pursuant to a subscription by the Shenyang Xinliaoan Machinery Co Ltd (“Shenyang” or the “Investor”) based in the People’s Republic of China, for 55,356,391 new ordinary shares of the Company (“Subscription Shares”) at a price of 1 pence per Subscription Share (“Subscription Price”) (the “Subscription”).  Conditional on completion of the Subscription, it was agreed that the Investor would also be issued warrants over 83,034,586 new ordinary shares in total (the “Investor Warrants”).  Of the Investor Warrants, 55,356,391 are exercisable at a price of 2 pence per share and 27,678,195 have an exercise price of 5 pence per share. The Subscription Shares were not issued and the Gross Proceeds were not received until after 31 March 2017.

 

In addition to the Subscription, the directors of ECR announced that the Company had issued 6,673,021 new ordinary shares in the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) at a price of 1 pence per Ordinary Share (being the same price as the Subscription Price) in lieu of salary and fees owed to certain directors, consultants and suppliers to the Company.

 

On 27 February 2017 the Company announced the grant of 8,153,968 share options (the “Options”) to two executive directors. The Options have been granted under the Company’s unapproved share option plan (the “Option Plan”). Each Option is exercisable to acquire one ordinary share of the Company at a price of 1.725 pence per share. The Options will remain valid, subject to the rules of the Option Plan, until the fifth anniversary of the date of grant. The Options will vest immediately. The exercise price of the Options equates to a premium of 50% to the closing mid-market price of the Company’s shares on AIM on 24 February 2017.

 

 

  1. 8.       Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

 

Six months ended  31 March

2017

Six months ended 31 March

2016

Year ended

30 September

2016

 

£

£

£

 

Operating activities

 

 

 

 

Loss for the period, before tax

(433,804)

(433,119)

(919,706)

 

Adjustments:

Depreciation expense, property, plant and equipment

(1,470)

1,468

1,468

Provision and impairment of investment and loans

1,108

Impairment of other current assets

2,672

Loss on available for sale financial assets

18,263

Loss on extinguishment of debt by equity

  –

30,486

Interest income

(21)

(484)

Loss on revaluation of investments

1,465

Interest on convertible loans

135,118

200,924

Interest expense – other

252

-

Share based payments

67,542

123,737

Shares issued in lieu of expense payments

66,731

13,800

(Increase) /decrease in accounts receivable

(4,457)

69,521

(12,941)

Increase/(Decrease) in accounts payable

91,525

58,036

58,565   

(Increase)/decrease in taxation

(32,757)

(33,768)

(8,230)

 

 

 

 

Net cash flow used in operations

(241,445)

(202,513)

(494,118)

 

 

 

 

           

The figures in this note for interest paid on convertible loans include the deemed cost of warrants issued with each convertible loan tranche, as well as implementation fees paid in respect of each tranche.

  1. 9.       Post period end events

 

On 26 May 2017 the Company announced the issue of 793,832 ordinary shares of the Company (the “Further Shares”) to Currawong Resources Pty Ltd (“Currawong”), the vendor of the Avoca and Bailieston projects. The Further Shares have been issued at a price of 1.8 pence, being the mid-price on AIM at the close of trading on 18 May 2017, giving them a value of £14,288.98 or approximately AUD 25,000.

 

On 31 May 2017 the Company announced that it had received the full amount of the Gross Proceeds of £553,564 from Shenyang Xinliaoan Machinery Co Ltd, following the previously announced subscription on 27 February 2017.  Completion of the Subscription and the issue of the Subscription Shares and associated Investor Warrants remains conditional upon the relevant parties entering into a relationship agreement. 

 

On 2 June 2017 the Company announced that it has raised gross proceeds of £1,000,000 by way of an oversubscribed placing (the “Placing”) for 55,555,556 new ordinary shares in the Company (the “Placing Shares”) at a price of 1.8 pence each (“Issue Price”). The net proceeds of the Placing will be used to support the ongoing activities of the Company in Australia and to explore new opportunities.

 

On 6 June 2017 the Company announced that it has completed the subscription with Shenyang Xinliaoan Machinery Co Ltd (“Shenyang”) raising gross proceeds of £553,564 from the issue of 55,356,391 ordinary shares at a price of 1 pence per share. As a result, Shenyang was granted  warrants over 83,034,586 new ordinary shares in total. Of these warrants, which are valid for five years, 55,356,391 warrants are exercisable at a price of 2 pence per share and 27,678,195 warrants have an exercise price of 5 pence per share.

 

On 15 June 2017 the Company announced that its planned exploration drilling programme at its Bailieston licence located in Victoria, Australia has now commenced.