Update on Exploration at Itogon Gold Project

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

 

AIM: ECR

US OTC: MTGDY

 

LONDON: 12 MARCH 2015 - ECR Minerals plc is pleased to provide the following update on exploration at the Itogon gold project, Philippines. ECR is the operator of the Itogon project and has the right to earn a 50% interest therein.

Progress of Drilling

Three diamond drill holes (EDD001, EDD002 and EDD003) have been completed since the current drilling programme commenced on 22 January 2015. A fourth hole, EDD004, is more than three quarters complete.

EDD004 did not form part of the programme as initially planned and as announced by the Company on 22 December 2014, but has been designed subsequently to follow up positive indications from the logging of core from EDD002.

Following completion of EDD004, the drill rig will be moved to the ERC002 drill pad. There it is planned that the rig will attempt to extend ERC002 and intercept a structure which was intercepted at depth by EDD002 and which is thought to be of geological significance.

ERC002 is a 150m reverse circulation (RC) hole drilled in April 2014 as part of ECR’s first drilling programme at Itogon.  ERC002 returned wide intercepts at depth (15m at 3.29g/t gold from 82m, with 2m at 18.25g/t from 92m; and 17m at 1.57g/t gold from 101m, with 3m at 5.45g/t gold from 103m).

Excluding EDD004, 439.5m has been drilled to date in the current programme, as summarised in Table 1 below.  The target depth of EDD004 is 120m.  The Company therefore remains well within its budgeted number of metres for this programme (990m). 

 

Table 1:
2015 Diamond Drilling at
 Itogon Gold Project, Philippines
Holes Completed to 12 March 2015

Hole
ID

Plan
ID*

Depth

EDD001

Plan 001

206.3

EDD002

Plan 025

112.0

EDD003

Plan 015

121.2

EDD004

n/a

Target 120m

 

* Refers to designation in ECR’s announcement dated 22 December 2014

Decisions regarding further drilling in the current programme will be made on the basis of evolving geological interpretations and assay results as they become available. 

Core samples from EDD001 and EDD002 are at ECR’s chosen independent laboratory for analysis.  Core samples from EDD003 will be despatched to the laboratory shortly.

Images of the current drilling programme at Itogon may be viewed at:
http://www.ecrminerals.com/itogon-drilling-mar2015

Channel Sampling Results

A vein striking approximately NW and dipping approximately 45 degrees to the SW was exposed in the preparation of the EDD002 drill pad.  The vein was sampled over 10m of strike using six 1m channel samples, each 2m apart. 

Assay results from the six channel samples are reported in Table 2 below.  The directors of ECR consider the grades to be encouraging.

 

Table 2:
February 2015 Channel Sampling
on EDD002 Drill Pad
Itogon Gold Project, Philippines

From
(m)

To
(m)

Apparent Width
(m)

Grade
(g/t gold)

0.0

1.0

1.0

2.97

0.0

1.0

1.0

0.61

0.0

1.0

1.0

1.63

0.0

1.0

1.0

0.93

0.0

1.0

1.0

14.62

0.0

1.0

1.0

7.83

 

Stephen Clayson, Chief Executive Officer of ECR, commented:

“Today’s announcement is intended to keep shareholders up to date with progress at Itogon, and I hope illustrates the great effort being focused on the current drilling programme to ensure that maximum effect is obtained.  We look forward to reporting material results of drilling when they are available.” 

QA/QC

Sampling was carried out under geological supervision.  A secure chain of custody was maintained in the transport and storage of all samples, which were shipped to and analysed by Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc. (“Intertek”), an internationally accredited independent analytical laboratory in Metro Manila. 

Upon arrival at Intertek samples were sorted, dried, crushed, split, and a fraction was pulverised.  The method of analysis for gold was fire assay (50g charge) with AAS finish. 

QA/QC measures including the use of blanks and standards were implemented by Intertek 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 (grams per tonne) gold but are received from the laboratory expressed as ppm (parts per million) gold.  For the purposes hereof ppm gold and g/t can be considered equivalent.

Review by Competent Person

This announcement has been reviewed by Andrew Tunningley MAusIMM (CP), a geologist with the consultancy Exploration Alliance, which has been engaged by ECR in connection with the Itogon gold project.

Drilling results for ERC002 contained in this announcement are extracted from the Company’s announcement dated 29 May 2014 and should be read in conjunction therewith.  All widths given in this announcement are apparent width.

About the Itogon Project

Exploration by ECR to date, including reverse circulation (RC) drilling completed in April 2014, indicates that gold mineralisation in the main prospect area at the Itogon project is hosted by generally north-west trending, south-west dipping to subvertical epithermal veins, with a subordinate set of generally north-east trending veins. 

ECR’s drilling has confirmed mineralisation over a strike length of 400m and a vertical extent of 250m, open along strike and down dip.  The width of the overall mineralised zone at surface, demonstrated by channel sampling, is up to 250m (notwithstanding sections between vein zones which may be unmineralised).  

The epithermal veins are composed of grey and white, saccharoidal and vuggy quartz with associated clay, calcite, pyrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, and vein breccia, hosted by moderately to strongly oxidised and argillised medium grained diorite.  Individual veins rarely exceed 1m wide and tend to occur as approximately 0.2m wide, closely spaced, sheeted veins within the altered zones.  Establishing the continuity of the vein zones between intercepts at surface, in underground workings and by drilling is an important exploration objective.  The highest gold grades are typically associated with multiple narrow, 1-2m wide occurrences of sheeted quartz veins and quartz vein breccia, with a mineralised selvedge grading approximately 0.30g/t gold or higher associated with these structures. 

ABOUT ECR

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company with, among other interests, the right to earn a 50% interest in the Itogon gold project in the Philippines.  Itogon is an advanced exploration project located in a 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, the exploration strategy for which is to delineate multiple medium to high grade, low tonnage deposits suitable for advancement to production on a relatively low capital, near term basis.

ECR continues to review potential new investments on a highly selective basis, with a concentration on precious, base and strategic metals projects in Asia and South America.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Richard (Dick) Watts, Technical Director  

ECR Minerals plc  Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
Paul Johnson, 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    
Jo Turner/Emma Earl    
     
Daniel Stewart & Company plc  Tel:  +44 (0)20 7776 6550
Broker    
Colin Rowbury    

 

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
adit: an opening driven horizontally into the side of a mountain or hill for providing access to a mineral deposit
alteration: the chemical response of rocks to hydrothermal solutions causing mineralogical change
argillic alteration: clay rich assemblages dominated by low temperature clays such as kaolinite, smectite, and interlayered illite-smectite; these are formed by low temperature (<230°C), acid to neutral, low salinity hydrothermal fluids
assay: a test performed on a sample of ores or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained
Au: gold
breccia: coarse (usually >2 mm) fragmental rock, consisting of generally angular clasts of one or more lithologies; a complexly veined rock can have a brecciated appearance (if veins are multi-generational and/or branching), but it is important to differentiate between the two; veins are generally linear or sinuous, whereas a breccia matrix is highly irregular
channel sampling: a sample composed of pieces of rock that have been cut out of a small trench or channel
chlorite: a group of platy, monoclinic, usually greenish minerals; associated with and resembling the micas; widely distributed as alteration products of ferromagnesian minerals
epidote: a green monoclinic mineral
drussy: pertaining to an insoluble residue or encrustation of quartz crystal
epithermal: mineralisation produced by near surface hydrothermal fluids related to igneous activity; originally defined as having formed in the range 50-300°C
fault: a break in the Earth’s crust caused by tectonic forces which have moved the rock on one side with respect to the other
footwall: the rock on the underside of a vein or ore structure
g: grams
galena: a grey metallic mineral; has a perfect cubic cleavage; soft and very heavy; principal ore of lead
g/t: grams per tonne
hanging wall: the rock on the upper side of a vein or ore deposit
hematite: a common iron mineral; occurs in rhombohedral crystals, in reniform masses or fibrous aggregate; deep red earthy forms; an alteration product in hydrothermal systems
illite: a general name for a group of mica like clay minerals that are widely distributed in argillic altered rocks
kg: kilogram
km: kilometre
m: metre
massive: said of rocks of any origin that are more or less homogenous in texture or fabric; also said of a mineral deposit especially of sulphides, characterized by great concentration of ore in one place as opposed to a disseminated or vein type deposit
MDL: method detection limit
outcrop: an exposure of rock or mineral deposit that can be seen on surface, that is, not covered by soil or water
oxidation: a chemical reaction caused by exposure to oxygen which results in a change in the chemical composition of a mineral
portal: the entry to an underground or sub surface access such as an adit, decline or tunnel
ppm: parts per million
propylitic alteration: chlorite-epidote-calcite alteration assemblage
RL: reduced level; calculated elevation in relation to a particular datum
saccharoidal: granular aggregates of equant crystals having the appearance of sugar in hand specimen
selvedge: the area of the point of contact between a vein and the surrounding rock
silicification: a hydrothermal alteration assemblage dominated by silica
smectite: mineral commonly found in argillic altered rocks
sphalerite: a yellow, brown, or black, isometric mineral with a perfect dodecahedral cleavage and a resinous to adamantine lustre; widely distributed ore of zinc; commonly associated with galena in epithermal veins
stringer: a narrow vein or irregular filament of a mineral or minerals traversing a rock mass usually of limited strike and dip compared to a vein
supergene: mineralisation enriched by the re-precipitation of sulphides and oxides by descending acidic groundwater which has leached the surface zone of an ore deposit
trenching: cutting of a narrow, shallow ditch across a mineral showing or deposit to obtain channel or other samples or to observe geology
t: tonne
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
vein breccia: rock consisting predominantly of vein fragments (<10% host rock clasts) in a chemically deposited matrix; clasts are generally sub angular, and supported in a matrix of generally similar vein minerals (such as quartz, chalcedony), which may be banded and enclose open cavities
vug: open cavity within a rock, usually in a vein or breccia cement, which is lined by euhedral prismatic crystals that project into the cavity