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: 20 JULY 2015 - The directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Directors”) are pleased to announce the results of bulk sampling at the Maestro Agüero prospect, one of several prospects which comprise the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina.  The SLM gold project is 100% held by ECR’s wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining SA.

The bulk sampling programme consisted of nineteen channel samples taken across quartz vein and stockwork zones.  Channels 5cm wide and 5cm deep were cut normal to the strike of the mineralisation using a petrol driven diamond saw.  A total of 595.47kg of material within the channel cuts was collected using a hammer and chisel.  Channel cuts were distributed over a strike length of approximately 400m.

The bulk samples were submitted to the laboratory of Alex Stewart Argentina SA in Mendoza where they were crushed and then riffle split to give nineteen samples weighing 1.8-3.2kg for analysis.  These samples were submitted for cyanide leach tests with AAS finish at OMAC Laboratories Ltd (“OMAC”) in Loughrea, Ireland.  The residue was then dried and pulverised before being submitted to 50g fire assay with AAS finish.  This procedure allowed the gold head grade to be calculated (cyanide leachable grade plus residual grade) for each sample whilst providing information on the amenability of the mineralisation to cyanide leaching. 

Head grades ranged from 3.78 g/t gold to 0.13 g/t gold over apparent widths of between 0.7m and 9.3m.  Two samples assayed below detection.  Cyanide leach recoveries of between 72.09% and 92.50% were achieved.  Head grades, apparent widths and cyanide leach recoveries for all samples are reported in the table below.

Petrographic study of selected samples indicates common flecks of high purity secondary gold on oxidised fractures.  The dominance of secondary gold on fractures and the cyanide recoveries achieved indicate that mineralisation at Maestro Agüero is likely to be technically suitable for heap leaching, which would entail relatively low capital and operating costs. 

Gold grain sizes ranged from <50 microns to 0.5mm in diameter, with the majority of grain sizes above 75 microns, indicating that gravity recovery may also be a potential processing option, although gravity-focused metallurgical testwork would be required to confirm this.

Stephen Clayson, Chief Executive Officer of ECR, commented:

“The bulk sampling results reported today indicate that gold mineralisation at Maestro Agüero is present across potentially mineable surface widths, albeit at lower grades than had been hoped.  However, the cyanide recoveries are generally high, and the deposit strikes along the centre of a low ridge, presenting a favourable topographic situation for open pit mining of near surface material.

The Directors are now considering the Company’s strategic options for Maestro Agüero and the SLM project as a whole, and for the time being exploration at the project will pause. 

ECR’s primary focus remains the Itogon gold project in the Philippines.  The Company has recently reported encouraging trenching results from Itogon, and is working towards an initial resource estimate for the project and an accompanying NI43-101 compliant technical report, both of which are expected to be available in September 2015.”

RESULTS OF MARCH 2015 BULK SAMPLING
MAESTRO AGÜERO PROSPECT, LA RIOJA PROVINCE, ARGENTINA

Channel ID

Description

Apparent Width
(m)

Head Grade
(g/t gold)

Cyanide Recovery
(%)

MACW-01

Stockwork

7.10

1.47

86.39

MACW-02

Stockwork

9.30

0.26

88.46

MACW-03

Vein

4.75

1.79

88.27

MACW-04

Vein

2.80

1.01

87.13

MACW-05

Stockwork

3.40

0.42

76.19

MACW-06

Vein

1.25

0.42

80.95

MACW-07

Vein

1.80

0.56

78.57

MACW-08

Vein

0.70

1.72

72.09

MACW-09

Vein

1.05

1.89

87.30

MACW-10

Vein

1.30

0.51

84.31

MACW-11

Stockwork

2.10

0.12

91.67

MACW-12

Vein

1.65

1.05

89.52

MACW-13

Stockwork

1.80

n/a

MACW-14

Vein

2.00

2.00

92.50

MACW-15

Stockwork

6.25

0.13

84.62

MACW-16

Vein

3.90

1.71

90.64

MACW-17

Vein

3.70

3.78

98.41

MACW-18

Stockwork

3.25

n/a

MACW-19

Vein

1.50

0.93

83.87

 

QA/QC measures including the use of blanks, duplicates and standards were applied by OMAC in relation to the analysis of the samples.  The assay data reported is considered acceptable in the context of these measures. 

Assay values have been expressed in this announcement as g/t gold but were received from OMAC expressed as ppm gold.  For the purposes hereof ppm gold and g/t can be considered equivalent.

The contents of this announcement have been reviewed by Dr Chris Wilson PhD, FAusIMM (CP), FSEG, a geologist with the consultancy Exploration Alliance, which has been engaged by ECR in connection with the SLM project.

ABOUT ECR

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company with the right to earn a 50% interest in the Itogon epithermal gold project in the Philippines.  Itogon is an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines.

ECR 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.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Richard (Dick) Watts, Technical Director  

ECR Minerals plc  Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
William (Bill) Howell, Non-Executive Chairman    
Stephen Clayson, Director & Chief Executive Officer    
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 7148 7900
Nominated Adviser    
Emma Earl/Jo Turner    
     
Daniel Stewart & Company plc  Tel:  +44 (0)20 7776 6550
Broker    
Martin Lampshire    

 

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.

 

AAS: atomic absorption spectroscopy
assay: a test performed on a sample of ores or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained
channel sample: sample composed of pieces of vein or mineral deposit that have been cut out of a small channel
cm: centimetre
cyanide leaching: chemical extraction of gold from crushed or ground ore by dissolving it in a weak cyanide solution
g: grams
g/t: grams per tonne
heap leaching: a process whereby valuable metals are leached from a heap, or pad, of crushed ore by solutions percolating down through the heap and collected from a sloping, impermeable liner below
m: metre
micron: one millionth of a metre
mm: millimetre
ppm: parts per million
stockwork: a network of veinlets, usually quartz
t: tonne
vein: a fissure, fault or crack in a rock filled by minerals that have travelled upwards from some deep source