ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, is pleased to announce the latest exploration developments for the Lolworth Project, North Queensland, Australia.
The Lolworth Project is located approximately 120km west of the historic gold mining centre of Charters Towers, North Queensland, Australia. The project consists of three exploration tenements (EPM27901, EPM27902 and EPM27903) and are operated under the 100% owned LUX Exploration Pty Ltd. The Company has identified numerous Gold, Niobium and REE anomalous within the project.
- 81 follow-up pan concentrate stream samples results have been returned. Best results include 128 ppm Au, 23.7 ppm Au, 42.3 ppm Au and 60.9 ppm Au. These results have further extended the gold prospectivity of the Reedy Creek area to the west.
- Results (pXRF) from a tighter spaced soil sampling campaign in the Oaky Creek area have identified an interesting Niobium target.
- Field work, including rock chipping, mapping and tighter spaced pan concentrate stream sampling at both Woolshed Creek and Gorge Creek prospects continue to reveal visible gold, indicating potential for increased prospectivity across the project area.
ECR Managing Director Nick Tulloch commented: “In the midst of significant structural changes at ECR and our ongoing work to evaluate the Company’s asset base, Adam Jones and the field team are to be commended for their tireless work in bringing these exciting developments at our Lolworth Range project to life.”
ECR Chief Operations Officer Mike Whitlow added: “Echoing Nick’s words, our team have been particularly pleased with the latest results as this gives confirmation to our exploration thesis at Lolworth, 128 ppm Gold being our best result has been supported by a number of additional very high-grade samples taken within the surrounding area. Whilst we recognise the early stage nature of this work, the confidence in today’s announcement leaves us naturally inspired to continue our efforts at Lolworth towards the end of the year, at which point we will have the perfect opportunity to plan our accelerated future work programme. We are understandably very excited by this latest development.”
Figure One: Oaky Creek Niobium soil anomaly:
Figure Two: Reedy Creek gold result:
Figure Three: Woolshed Creek gold anomalism:
Figure Four: Visible gold extent from sampling in Upper Gorge Creek:
NIOBIUM SOIL SAMPLING RESULTS (Oaky Creek)
Since commencing work at Oaky Creek, ECR has logged a series of highly anomalous Niobium (Nb) and Tantalum (Ta) stream sampling results from the upper reaches of the creek.
The Company reported up to 146 ppm Nb in the first pass soil sampling grid on the 19th July 2023 (see July 19 2023 RNS here). Whilst still early stage, the high priority zones identified from the first pass grid and tested in-house using a pXRF have been followed up, and 17 samples reporting greater than 80 ppm Nb have been identified, with a best result of 497 ppm Nb. It is important to note the results from pXRF data are qualitative not quantitative and should only be used for identifying the pathfinder anomaly.
These new results combined with the first pass soil sampling show strongly elevated levels of Nb within the centre of the sampled area. Previous high-grade Nb and Ta results from sampling the drainage systems that originate from this elevated centre support the new soil sampling results within the anomalous area and bullseye identified (shown in Figure One above).
The field team and the Board have agreed that the next logical next step will be to undertake a traverse ‘ridge and spur’ rock chip sampling program over the anomalous area. This work is expected to be completed before the 2023 field season ends.
PAN CONCENTRATE SAMPLING PROGRAMME UPDATE
Results from a further 81 samples have been received from the ongoing pan concentrate stream sampling program from streams tested in the northern part of the tenement area. Although these results returned no gold, a small group of samples were taken from streams located approximately 2km to the west of the Reedy Creek area which returned high concentrations of gold with results up to 128 ppm Au. Visible coarse gold particles were often seen during the sampling process and for the majority, correlate well with the best laboratory gold results. More significantly, these results extend the gold footprint further west from Reedy Creek, and a follow-up soil sample grid programme has been scheduled for completion in the near future (see Reedy Creek map images in Figure Two above). All gold results greater than 0.1 ppm Au have been tabled in Appendix One to this announcement.
The majority of these stream results have been taken from outside of the Niobium-Tantalum and REE prospective area. Results have returned 14 stream samples reporting greater than 80 ppm Nb with one best result of 2380 ppm Nb. This best result also correlates to other REE elements including Lanthanum (La), Neodymium (Nd), Praseodymium (Pr), Ta and Yttrium (Y). The best Nb results have been identified within isolated creeks in the eastern part of the project area and are encouraging signs for the regional prospectivity for critical minerals and REE in other unexplored areas of the tenement area. All received Nb results greater than 80 ppm are tabulated in Appendix One to this announcement.
RECENT FIELD WORK
ECR Technical Director Adam Jones visited the Lolworth Project in September. He and his field team collected some 180 rock chips from prospective outcrops at Woolshed Creek area and the upper reaches of Gorge Creek and were greatly encouraged by the general prospectivity of the region. The lab results for this work are due in October 2023.
Within the upper reaches of the Gorge Creek catchment area, the creek system divides into western and eastern tributaries. While undertaking sampling work in the western tributary, the field team noted visible gold up to the dividing range spur and acquired a number of small gold nuggets up to 11 grams in weight. A targeted soil sampling program is now underway across the spur to identify the source of this gold (see Figure Four above).
The Company has also undertaken detailed outcrop mapping and rock chip sampling within the Woolshed Creek area which is located north west of Reedy Creek (see Figure Three above). A series of parallel creeks showing gold values backed up by visible gold were identified previously, and a rock chip located in a narrow-mineralised vein returned 4.73 g/t Au. The field team returned to this vein during the September 2023 work programme to map out and rock chip sample other similar small veins running in parallel. Results from this work are expected in October 2023. Although it is unlikely that all veins will be gold-bearing, the Board and field team are of the opinion that the trend of previous stream results in the area along the strike of outcrop provides sufficient evidence to mark out the zone as an area of high prospectivity. A follow-up soil sampling grid over this strike area is planned shortly.
The exploration season in North Queensland typically ends by December 2023 with the onset of the tropical wet season and with flooding preventing access. Before this, our exploration work plan is shown below with the objective being to gather sufficient data to be analysed whilst the team are off-site during the wet season to identify the broader exploration potential of the region.
- Soil sampling programme across the creeks at the head of Gorge Creek West.
- Ridge and spur sampling across the best Niobium soil anomalies at the Oaky Creek prospect.
- Soil Sampling over the Woolshed Creek headwaters.
REVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT BY QUALIFIED PERSON
This announcement has been reviewed by Adam Jones, Technical Director of Exploration at ECR Minerals plc. Adam Jones is a professional geologist and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (MAIG). He is a qualified person as that term is defined by the AIM Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies
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