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 is pleased to provide the following update on its activities in Argentina.

 

Unchimé Iron Ore Project, Salta Province

 

As a result of the delayed availability of assay results from drilling at the Unchimé project, ECR has requested and received an extension until 22 December 2011 with respect to the payment of US$1.3 million that was due to the owners of the project on or before 1 December 2011. This amount represents partial payment for the acquisition by the Company of an initial 70% ownership interest in the project and would be followed by an additional payment of US$500,000 not more than 7 months from the date of the previous payment in order to complete the acquisition. The extension has been secured at no cost to ECR and the Company is under no obligation to proceed with the acquisition.

 

ECR’s view of the potential of Unchimé remains broadly positive, however in view of the slowdown in the global economy discussions with the owners of the project are taking place regarding the possibility of the Company’s continued involvement in the development of the project on revised terms, to include the further deferment of any cash payment or the payment of a reduced amount in the near term.

 

The results of the analysis of core samples from the diamond drilling programme completed at Unchimé by the Company during September are still awaited. Delays have occurred due to a backlog of samples at the laboratory conducting the analyses however the results are now expected in a matter of weeks. These results will assist a decision regarding the nature of ECR’s continued involvement in the project, if any.

 

Should the Company proceed to further develop the project work would initially comprise additional metallurgical analysis as well as continued drilling, the latter with a view to producing a resource estimate compliant with international standards.

 

Sierra de las Minas Gold Project, La Rioja Province

 

ECR wishes to advise that the ground based geophysical programme being carried out at its 100% owned El Abra gold prospect is well underway, although completion of the programme has been delayed due to the failure of equipment employed by the Company’s contractors. Interpretation of the results of the geophysical programme will facilitate the design of the proposed drill programme at El Abra. Drilling is now expected to commence early in the New Year.

 

Samples from El Abra and other prospects within the Sierra de las Minas project area are currently being prepared to undergo an initial programme of metallurgical testwork. This work will assist ECR in evaluating the potential for high grade material mined at Sierra de las Minas to be sent for toll treatment at a processing plant elsewhere in Argentina, or alternatively for the construction of a processing plant at Sierra de las Minas to treat modest tonnages of high grade ore.

 

Patrick Harford, Managing Director of ECR Minerals plc, comments:

 

“The results of the diamond drilling completed at Unchimé in September will put ECR in a much better position to decide whether to proceed with the project. We are also keenly observing iron ore market conditions, which are becoming more uncertain in view of the fragile world economic situation.

 

Meanwhile we are proceeding to advance our Sierra de las Minas gold project as rapidly as possible, with a particular eye towards early cashflow opportunities. This represents an increased focus on gold by ECR, which we consider to be opportune in the present economic environment.”

 

About ECR Minerals

 

ECR is a mineral development company with interests in the USA, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia.

 

For further information please contact:

ECR Minerals plc
Michael Silver, Chairman Tel: +44 (0) 20 7929 1010
Patrick Harford, Managing Director
Stephen Clayson, Director
Luca Tenuta, Non-Executive Director
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Daniel Stewart & Company plc
Oliver Rigby/Tessa Smith Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550
Old Park Lane Capital plc
Michael Parnes Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 8188
Blythe Weigh Communications
Ana Ribeiro Tel: +44 (0)20 7138 3204
Barry Kaplan Associates
Larry Kaplan Tel: +1 732 747 0702