Commencement of Australian Exploration Programme

AIM: ECR
US OTC: MTGDY

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

 

LONDON: 15 JUNE 2017 - The directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Board”) are pleased to announce that its planned exploration drilling programme at its Bailieston licence located in Victoria, Australia has now commenced.

Highlights

  • Initial drill programme to test most significant prospects at high-priority Byron target within Bailieston licence area has commenced
  • Byron, an historic mine, which produced 4,416oz Au from 8,698t mined at an implied grade of 15.5g/t Au
  • ECR is planning to undertake a high-quality low-cost exploration programme to test extensions to the known mineralisation at Byron and generate additional targets for a more comprehensive programme
  • The Central Victorian Goldfields, one of the premier gold districts in the world in terms of production, is estimated to have produced over 80.4Moz AU
  • Bailieston licence area is in close proximity to other highly successful currently producing gold mines

Craig Brown, CEO of ECR commented:

“The Board of ECR are very excited to begin our exploration programme in the Victorian Goldfields; our Bailieston project located in the Australian state of Victoria, one of the world’s most prolific gold producing regions, is not only in close proximity to two significant operating gold mines but the region has a long history of producing high-grade material from underground workings.

Within Bailieston, our first high priority drill targets remain in the proximity of the historic Byron mine where we have identified several areas proximal to old workings with good production figures as highly prospective targets worthy of immediate testing.

ECR has made significant strides forward in recent months and the Board strongly believe that our Australian exploration programme in this highly prospective district, capably led by Ivor Jones, ECR’s Chief Operating Officer and member of the JORC committee, is the first step to really beginning to build value for shareholders.

Following two successful rounds of funding, one with our strategic Chinese investor Shenyang, we are fully funded for our current exploration programme and beyond. We look forward to updating the market as we test these exciting areas at the drill bit and continue rolling out our programme across our other Australian licence areas”.

About Bailieston

ECR, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mercator Gold, has a 100% interest in the Bailieston project located in Victoria, Australia. The Bailieston tenement is accessed by excellent infrastructure and is approximately 1.5hrs drive from Melbourne.

The state of Victoria, within which the Bailieston project lies, with a long history of mining (it is estimated that Victoria, since the discovery of gold in 1851, has produced some 80.4Moz Au), well established mining legislation and a strong pool of skilled labour is widely considered to be a low risk jurisdiction. Bailieston itself is located near to other successful large mining operations such as Fosterville (producing c140koz p.a. at a cash cost $461/oz) and Costerfield (producing 42koz p.a. at a cash cost of $630/oz). Although Victoria has a rich and varied gold mining history going back to the nineteenth century, with a lack of modern exploration within the region, the Directors of ECR are of the view that these successful modern operations indicate that Victoria is a workable jurisdiction for large scale mineral development justifying a systematic exploration programme utilizing modern techniques especially with regard to hard rock targets under cover.

The Bailieston tenement contains the historic Byron Mine which records show produced 4,416oz from 8,698t mined at an implied grade of 15.5g/t Au. Mining ceased at this property due to pump failure and subsequent dewatering issues. The sulphidic nature of other mineralization targeted at the deposit added recovery issues, not a lack of ore, and no work has been undertaken at the mine since 1905. This reflects the available processing equipment available to the mine at the time. Extensions to the high-grade ore shoot remain untested.

ECR has identified three areas proximal to the old Byron mine as a high priority hard-rock drill targets and intend to complete a reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme of approximately 550m to test these significant prospects.

The three high priority hard-rock drill targets to be initially tested are:

i) Below the old Byron shaft workings into a zone interpreted to be the extension of the previously mined high-grade reef

ii) West of the Byron shaft with a view to intersecting high-grade mineralization that was identified during historical underground mining, but only partly exploited

iii) The high-grade Maori mineralisation encountered by historical drilling and a small amount of historic mining.

A Competent Persons Report compiled by Snowden is also available on the ECR website and covers Bailieston in some detail:

http://www.ecrminerals.com/projects-investments/mercator-gold-australia/snowden-jorc-report

A detailed review of Bailieston and some of ECR’s other tenements in Victorian Goldfields may be may be found in a research note Optiva Securities entitled Victorian Gold: new Board, new direction, new opportunities.

This can also be downloaded from the ECR minerals website:

http://www.ecrminerals.com/investors-media/research-notes

It should be noted that the research note is published by Optiva, not the Company, and that Optiva is solely responsible for the contents thereof. Persons downloading the research note from the ECR website are advised to read the disclaimers on page 26 of the research note.”

Qualified Person

Information disclosed in this announcement has been reviewed and verified by ECR's qualified person, Ivor Jones, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Company and a Competent Person within the meaning of Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' (the JORC Code) and for the purposes of the AIM Rules.

Mr Jones holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology from Macquarie University and an MSc in Resource Evaluation from the University of Queensland. He is a Fellow and Chartered Professional (Geology) of the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (AusIMM) and a Member of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC).

Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service ("RIS"), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

ABOUT ECR

ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia has 100% ownership of the Avoca, Bailieston and Timor gold projects in Victoria, Australia. ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project, 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, 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    
Craig Brown, Director & CEO

Ivor Jones, Director & COO

   
     

Email:

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Website: www.ecrminerals.com

   
     
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP   Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880
Nominated Adviser    
Emma Earl / Jo Turner    
     
Optiva Securities Ltd   Tel: +44 (0)203 137 1902
Broker    
Graeme Dickson    
     
FlowComms   Tel: +44 (0)7891 677 441
Investor Relations    
Sasha Sethi    
     

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.