ECR Agrees to Acquire El Abra Historic Gold Mine in La Rioja Province, Argentina

ECR Minerals plc is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire a 100% interest in three exploitation concessions comprising the El Abra historic small scale gold mine in La Rioja Province, Argentina. The Company has also agreed to acquire a 100% interest in an additional exploitation concession known as Jazmin located some ten kilometres south-southwest of the El Abra mine.

Highlights:

  • Acquisition extends ECR’s tenement position in the Sierra de las Minas area of La Rioja Province
  • Recent geochemical sample at El Abra returned grade of 84.6g/t gold
  • El Abra represents a particularly promising exploration target in accordance with ECR’s exploration strategy at Sierra de las Minas, which is focused on high grade, smaller tonnage targets potentially suitable for development to production on an accelerated timescale

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

“Evaluation of the El Abra mine, the site of locally significant historical gold production, will be a central part of ECR’s planned exploration activities in the Sierra de las Minas area.

Exploration fieldwork by ECR will commence at El Abra and at other identified prospects within the Company’s Sierra de las Minas tenements early in the New Year, and updates on progress will be provided as appropriate.”

El Abra Mine

Historic small scale mine workings at El Abra contain clear indications of high grade gold mineralisation in the form of visible gold in several areas.

The El Abra mineralisation typically occurs as quartz veins with altered marginal areas. The veins are from a few centimetres to a few metres wide and locally contain very high grade gold values. The altered margins are also auriferous, and the combination of veins and margins has been historically worked to widths of several metres in some areas.

Substantial alluvial mining operations have been conducted in the flats to the north and east of El Abra and elsewhere in the region.

MPH Consulting Ltd (“MPH”), a geological consultancy based in Toronto, Canada, visited the El Abra mine prior to its acquisition by the Company and collected two composite rock chip geochemical samples from quartz vein material, the results of which are reported in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Results of quartz vein geochemical samples from El Abra mine

Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t)
84.6 27.2
5.1 1.2

MPH has recommended sophisticated ground based geophysical analysis for the El Abra mine area, along with surface evaluation work including mapping, prospecting and geochemical sampling, followed by drilling and/or test pitting.

The best results obtained from the El Abra mine area as part of a 1997 rock, soil and stream sediment geochemical sampling programme carried out over the Sierra de las Minas project area by La Plata Gold Corporation are reported in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Best results from 1997 geochemical sampling at El Abra mine by La Plata Gold Corporation

Prospect Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t) Copper (%)

El Abra Mine 85.3 6.7 1.39
58.3 5.2 3.10
44.6 2.9 0.08
35.5 2.4 1.86
27.9 23.4 0.01

Tenure

The El Abra and Jazmin exploitation concessions are being acquired from a local individual for total cash consideration of US$60,000. The vendor retains a 2% net smelter return royalty in respect of future production on the concessions.

The El Abra concessions cover an area of approximately 18 hectares, and the Jazmin concession extends over approximately 12 hectares.

Also being acquired by the Company (for no further consideration) is an application for an additional exploitation concession adjoining the El Abra concessions and covering approximately 496 hectares. ECR will seek to finalise the grant of this additional concession as soon as possible.

The Company will have the exclusive right to apply for an additional exploitation concession over an area of up to 35 hectares contiguous with the Jazmin concession.

Mineral exploitation concessions in Argentina are granted and administered by provincial governments and can be held indefinitely subject to being kept in good standing with regard to the payment of fees and compliance with minimum work requirements.

About the Sierra de las Minas Area and La Rioja Province

ECR’s tenement position in the Sierra de las Minas area extends over approximately 75,000 hectares and contains widespread historic small scale gold mining areas including the El Abra mine.

The Sierra de las Minas area is considered prospective for the discovery of new hydrothermal (mesothermal/epithermal) gold deposits, potentially associated with silver and base metals.

ECR’s tenements are accessible by paved interprovincial highways from the cities of Mendoza, San Juan and Cordoba, with local access by paved and unpaved provincial routes.

La Rioja Province is located in the northern central part of Argentina approximately 800km northwest of Buenos Aires. La Rioja has a history of mining and is supportive of further investment in the sector.

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
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
Forbes Cutler Tel: +44 (0) 20 7518 2603
Director of Corporate Broking
Barry Kaplan Associates
Larry Kaplan Tel: +1 732 747 0702

The contents of this announcement have been reviewed by Mr. Howard Coates, MSc., P.Geo., Vice President and Partner of MPH Consulting Ltd, who has more than 40 years of experience in the mining and exploration industry. Exploration results attributed to MPH were generated by Mr. Coates during the course of the MPH site visit, and Mr. Coates has consented to the inclusion of these results in the form and context in which they appear. Historic sampling results have not been verified by MPH or by the Company.