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: 5 NOVEMBER 2015 - The directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Directors”) are pleased to disclose a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for the Danglay gold project in the Philippines (formerly known as the Itogon gold project), along with a target for further exploration. ECR is the operator of the Danglay project with the right to earn a 50% interest therein.

* An Inferred Mineral Resource of 1,200,000t at a grade of 1.6 g/t gold for 60,500oz gold (the “Resource”) has been estimated using a cut-off grade of 0.75 g/t gold

* The Resource has been estimated in respect of the surficial oxide deposit only; in addition, a target for further exploration (the “Exploration Target”) has been determined in respect of primary intermediate sulphidation vein-hosted mineralisation, which shows significant similarities to better known intermediate sulphidation deposits in the Baguio District

* Exploration Target of between 600,000t at 5 g/t gold for 95,000oz gold and 700,000t at 7.5 g/t gold for 170,000oz gold

* The Resource and the Exploration Target have each been determined by a Qualified Person and are disclosed in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (“NI43-101”)

* Itogon is henceforth to be known as the Danglay project, to better reflect local geography

As previously announced, the full NI43-101 technical report supporting the disclosure of the Resource will be published within 45 days of this announcement.

Stephen Clayson, Chief Executive Officer of ECR, commented:

“The Directors are very pleased with the maiden Mineral Resource estimate for the Danglay project, as well as the Exploration Target which has been determined. These items are the fruit of ECR’s efforts to date on the project, which include two drilling programmes, amongst much other work.

The Danglay project lies within the Baguio District, from which tens of millions of ounces of gold are estimated to have been mined to date, and which continues to produce today. This has positive implications for Danglay, in that factors such as the availability of skilled staff at competitive rates and the social acceptance of mining contribute to a positive setting for development. Further exploration is required to demonstrate that development of the Danglay project to production is warranted, but today’s announcement is a significant milestone.

Plans for the next phase of exploration at Danglay are still being refined, and will be announced in due course. In parallel, ECR has commenced a process of reviewing potential opportunities and alliances which could be of value in taking Danglay and ECR forward. Any material developments in this regard will be announced.”

Mineral Resource

The Resource is disclosed in accordance with NI43-101 and has been estimated in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines” and the JORC Code.

The Resource was estimated by Mr Neil Motton BSc (Hons), MAusIMM (CP - Geology), MSEG, of the consultancy Snapper Resources Ltd (“Snapper”). Mr Motton is independent of ECR and a Qualified Person under NI43-101 for the purposes of estimating the Resource.

The Danglay oxide deposit is a supergene gold enrichment zone formed by weathering and oxidation of primary intermediate sulphidation quartz vein and stockwork mineralisation. The oxide gold resource at Danglay forms a generally flat lying tabular body that extends from surface to depths of up to approximately 15m. Areas of scree or talus comprise a separate Mineral Resource domain in addition to in situ oxide mineralisation.

Table 1:
Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate
Oxide Mineralisation - Main Prospect Area
Danglay Gold Project (EP-006-2011-CAR), Benguet, Philippines
Effective date: 24 October 2015
Disclosed in accordance with Canadian NI43-101
Cut-off grade: 0.75 g/t gold
Domain Tonnes Grade ( g/t gold) Gold (oz)
Oxide in situ 919,000 1.65 48,500
Oxide scree 281,000 1.35 12,000
Total oxide 1,200,000 1.6 60,500

 

NB:
The Mineral Resource estimate in Table 1 above is disclosed at a cut-off grade of 0.75 g/t gold, which is based on a gold price of US$1,100/oz and an assumed metallurgical recovery of 85%. Figures have been rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into a Mineral Reserve.

Data used in estimation of the Resource

The Resource has been estimated using gold assay results from more than 1,000m of predominantly surface channel sampling, approximately 440m of trench sampling, and the upper, oxidised parts of seven reverse circulation (RC) and four diamond drill holes. ECR supplied Snapper with channel sampling, trench sampling, and RC and diamond drilling data, in the form of Microsoft Excel spreadsheet datasets. ECR sampling and logging data were compiled into a Microsoft Access database by Snapper and verified for inconsistencies, overlaps and missing data using MineMap software.

Snapper is of the opinion that the ECR data was sufficiently detailed and of an appropriate standard for an Inferred Mineral Resource calculation. No historical assay data was used in the estimation of the Resource. All ECR samples were analysed by Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc. (“Intertek”), an internationally accredited independent analytical laboratory in Metro Manila. The method of analysis for gold was fire assay (50g charge) with AAS finish. QA/QC measures including the use of field blanks, certified standards and staged duplicates were implemented by ECR and separately by Intertek in relation to the analysis of the samples. The assay data is considered by Snapper to be acceptable for estimation of the Resource in the context of these measures.

In addition to the data review and data verification and integrity checks conducted by Snapper, Snapper is satisfied that the assay protocols used are appropriate and that field methodology was of a high standard. Mr Motton has personally reviewed all drill core and RC chips generated by ECR’s drilling programmes, and observed channel sampling taking place in the field.

Resource estimation methodology

In order to estimate the Resource, a constraining wireframe was developed from a detailed differential GPS survey pickup of the topographical surface by an independent surveying company, and from sample logging and assay data. The base of oxidation, which was derived from drilling information, was used as a bounding lower surface for the development of the wireframe. The total oxide wireframe was divided into two parts representing the in situ oxide domain and the scree domain. The dividing line was developed from mapping and trenching information. This dividing line was then used to cut vertically through the whole oxide wireframe to make two wireframes, which were used to constrain separate block models for each domain.

Gold grade distribution within the two wireframes was calculated using an inverse distance method comprising a 25m diameter spherical search ellipse to the power of 2.5. An assay top-cut of 15 g/t gold was applied, based on statistical analysis of the dataset. Block models were generated using MineMap software with block sizes of 5m (X) by 5m (Y) by 5m (Z). This relatively small block size was chosen to allow a reasonable sampling density and definition of Mineral Resources given the available assay dataset, and to ensure well constrained volume estimates. Blocks below the cut-off grade of 0.75 g/t gold and blocks with insufficient data were excluded from the Resource. A dry weight density of 2.4t per m3 was used, based on laboratory analysis of 49 drill core samples of oxide material.

Target for Further Exploration

Dr Chris Wilson PhD, FAusIMM (CP - Geology), FSEG, of the consultancy Exploration Alliance SA, visited the Danglay project during July and August 2015 and collected almost 100 rock chip samples of oxidised and primary vein material.

ECR requested that Dr Wilson determine a target for further exploration in respect of the primary intermediate sulphidation vein-hosted mineralisation which continues below the oxide gold Resource.

Cont.

Table 2:
Target for Further Exploration
Danglay Gold Project (EP-006-2011-CAR), Benguet, Philippines
Primary Intermediate Sulphidation Vein-Hosted Mineralisation - Main Prospect Area
Disclosed in accordance with Canadian NI43-101
(conceptual potential quantity and grade of mineralisation expressed as ranges)
Range Tonnes Grade ( g/t gold) Gold (oz)
Lower bound 600,000 5 95,000
Based on eight veins 1-3m wide, 150-225m long with a vertical extent of 100-150m, grading 5 g/t on average
       
Upper bound 700,000 7.5 170,000
Based on ten veins 1-3m wide, 150-225m long with a vertical extent of 100-150m, grading 7.5 g/t on average (due to high grade shoots increasing the grade of five veins to 10 g/t on average)

NB:
A target for further exploration is not a Mineral Resource estimate, is conceptual in nature, and is used where there has been insufficient exploration to define the target as a Mineral Resource and where it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a Mineral Resource. Figures in Table 2 have been rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the Exploration Target.

Basis on which Exploration Target has been determined

The Exploration Target was determined based on the following:

1) Exploration results to date indicate that there are three main mineralised zones at Danglay: a northern zone with a surface footprint of approximately 175m by 100m, a southwestern zone with a surface footprint of approximately 250m by 100m, and a southeastern zone with a surface footprint of approximately 200m by 100m.

2) The mineralisation comprises multiple steeply dipping to vertical quartz veins that are typically up to 1m wide and locally up to several metres wide. The distribution of veins in the target area shows similarities with other intermediate sulphidation vein-hosted deposits in the Baguio District, which are generally steeply dipping, have strike lengths of hundreds of metres to several kilometres, and have been mined over hundreds of metres vertically.

3) A significant number of rock chip samples of unoxidised quartz-base metal sulphide veins collected at Danglay by Dr Wilson in August 2015 assayed above 15 g/t gold and a small number of samples assayed above 100 g/t gold. Silver grades of 5-15 oz/t and base metal grades of between 1-2% zinc and up to 1% lead were also noted. The highest grade sample assayed 142 g/t gold, >16 oz/t silver, >2% zinc, >1% lead and 0.31% copper.

This indicates that parts of some quartz veins are considerably more mineralised than others, and that high grade shoots are likely to exist. This is consistent with other intermediate sulphidation vein-hosted deposits in the Baguio District. ECR has generally not assayed for silver or base metals in previous work, however silver and zinc may be of economic interest as by-products of any future gold production which may occur with respect to primary intermediate sulphidation veins at the Danglay project.

NB:
The structural geology of the target area is not well understood, and a substantial drilling campaign will be required to fully test the Exploration Target.

Next phase of exploration

In addition to the exploration potential represented by the primary Exploration Target discussed above, there may be scope to increase the surficial oxide Mineral Resource through further exploration, which would focus on better defining the higher grade zones within the oxide.

Shallow drilling on a grid based pattern would be likely to fully address these requirements and to enable the estimation of an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource (corresponding to a higher confidence level than the Inferred category) in respect of the oxide mineralisation. There can be no certainty that additional exploration will result in an increased oxide Mineral Resource or the conversion of Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated or Measured Mineral Resources.

Deeper, angle drilling would be required to test the Exploration Target, which has been determined in respect of primary intermediate sulphidation vein-hosted mineralisation continuing below the oxide zone.

Plans for the next phase of exploration at Danglay have not yet been finalised, but will be announced in due course. An NI43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA), which is similar to a scoping study, may be considered in respect of the Resource, although no decision to proceed with a PEA has yet been taken.

Review of announcement by Qualified Person

This announcement has been reviewed by William (Bill) Howell BSc (Hons), FAusIMM, FSEG, ECR’s Non-Executive Chairman. Mr Howell is a geologist with 48 years of experience in the minerals industry, and is a Qualified Person as that term is defined by the AIM Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies.

ABOUT ECR

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company with 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.

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:

ECR Minerals plc  Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
William (Bill) Howell, Non-Executive Chairman    
Stephen Clayson, Director & Chief Executive Officer    
Richard (Dick) Watts, Technical Director    
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    
     
Vicarage Capital Ltd  Tel:  +44 (0)20 3651 2910
Broker    
Rupert Williams/Jeremy Woodgate    

 

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.

GLOSSARY

AAS: atomic absorption spectroscopy
assay: a test performed on a sample of ore or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained
channel sample a sample of pieces of vein or mineral deposit that have been cut out of a small trench or channel, usually about 10cm wide and 2cm deep
cm: centimetre
diamond drilling: a type of rotary drilling that utilises a fluid lubricated and cooled cylindrical diamond drill bit. As the drill bit cuts into the rock a cylindrical core of rock is recovered in the core barrel
drill core: rock samples recovered by diamond drilling
epithermal: mineralisation produced by near surface hydrothermal fluids related to igneous activity; originally defined as having formed in the range 50-300°C
Inferred Mineral Resource: that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes
intermediate sulphidation: Epithermal gold and silver deposits of both vein and bulk-tonnage styles may be broadly grouped into high-, intermediate-, and low-sulphidation types based on the sulphidation states of their primary sulphide assemblages. From an exploration perspective, intermediate sulphidation systems generally occur peripheral to porphyry copper-gold deposits but at deeper levels than low sulphidation systems. Mineralisation is typically hosted in steeply dipping veins and breccia zones which may contain high grade shoots. Stockwork zones between vein sets may represent lower grade bulk tonnage targets. Intermediate sulphidation systems generally have a vertical metal endowment of hundreds of metres
g: grams
g/t: grams per tonne
m: metre
Mineral Reserve: the economically mineable part of a Measured or Indicated Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study
Mineral Resource:

a concentration or occurrence of diamonds, natural solid inorganic material, or natural solid fossilised organic material including base and precious metals, coal, and industrial minerals in or on the Earth’s crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge

Mineral Resources are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories. An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource. An Indicated Mineral Resource has a higher level of confidence than an Inferred Mineral Resource but has a lower level of confidence than a Measured Mineral Resource

oxidation: a chemical reaction caused by exposure to oxygen that results in a change in the chemical composition of a mineral
oxide gold: said of gold that has been liberated from sulphides during the process of oxidation to form a surficial, sub-horizontal to horizontal zone
preliminary economic assessment (PEA): a study, other than a prefeasibility or feasibility study, that includes an economic analysis of the potential viability of Mineral Resources
primary deposit: valuable minerals deposited during the original period or periods of mineralisation, as opposed to those deposited as a result of alteration or weathering
quartz: common rock-forming mineral consisting of silicon and oxygen
ppm: parts per million
Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling: percussive drilling method in which cuttings are raised to surface by a stream of compressed air inside the drill rods
t: tonne
stockwork: a network of veinlets, usually quartz
sulphide: a compound of sulphur and some other element
supergene enrichment: said of a mineral deposit formed at or just below the Earth’s surface, generally through downward percolation of rainwater, resulting in liberation of gold through oxidation of sulphides, and its concentration and enrichment within a given horizon
trench: a long, narrow excavation dug through the upper parts of the soil profile or overburden to expose bedrock veins and structures
vein: material which was chemically deposited by fluids within a rock fracture; veins exhibit a range of textures and minerals, depending primarily on the temperature, depth, and composition of the fluid and host rock; may also contain a small amount (<10%) of entrained host rock and/or vein clasts
zone: an area of distinct mineralisation