ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, is pleased to announce that the Department of Resources (DoR) and Environmental Authority have approved work programmes for three Exploration Permits (“EPM”) at its Lolworth District licence territories in North Queensland, Australia.
The EPM licenses have yet to be approved but now that the work programmes have been approved, the EPM’s will be advertised, following which there will be a 4-month consultation period. The Directors believe the licences should be granted in approximately 6 months time, and further announcements will be made at that time. Once approved, all three are valid for an initial period of 5 years to enable the Group to complete the planned exploration program, with a right to apply for permit extensions for up to a total of 15 years. The licenses will be held in the name of LUX Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”) which is a 100%-owned Australian subsidiary of ECR Minerals.
Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“I am pleased to report that following our application for three strategic licenses in the Lolworth district announced on 27 May 2021, we have received work programme approval back in record time to complete the EPM application process.
Historical data* from the area shows that regional deposits, including Charters Towers have produced over 24m Oz in total gold production over the years, so naturally our team are very keen to get on the ground and start work.
Our strong cash position has enabled us to maintain aggressive drilling programmes, operating two diamond drill rigs at the Bailieston and Creswick projects in Victoria. While our team at Bendigo continue to assess the core and drill data, under the leadership of Geologist Adam Jones, we now have the capacity to aggressively pursue and develop this new opportunity.
I am confident that our ongoing drilling operations across multiple high-profile gold targets will expose ECR to potential new gold discoveries, and I look forward to updating shareholders again in the near term.”
THE LOLWORTH RANGE AREA
Exploration Permits (EPM 27901, 27902 and 27903) represent 300 sub-blocks covering a total 900 km2 of highly prospective ground located within the Lolworth Range, 200km WSW of Townsville and 30km north from Pentlands, North Queensland Australia.
The application area contains metamorphic rocks of the Charters Towers Province, that host historical large gold producing centres such as Charters Tower (6.6M Oz Au) *** and Ravenswood (3.5M Oz Au)****; although these numbers have not been independently validated by ECR and so are provided for guidance purposes only. The structural and basement geology is poorly understood in the area, which suggests it is possible to find new deposits.
The area also contains reported rhyolitic volcanics which play host to intrusion-related breccia gold deposits in the region such as Mount Leyshon (>2.5M oz) and Mount Wright (>1M oz). **
Desktop study of historic exploration data from the late 1980’s revealed anomalous gold stream sediment sample results within the applied areas.
The application area is encompassed on the southern boundary by rich alluvial gold deposits of the Cape River and Gorge Creek area, which drain the southern Lolworth Range.
The east boundary of EPM27902 and EPM27903 is bordered by current exploration permits exploring the Lolworth dyke swarm; a north-west trending system of rhyolitic dykes and small breccia pipes containing gold, copper and molybdenum.
Historic sample data also highlighted tin-tungsten mineralisation in the western areas of EPM27902 (see Figure 1). Reports show no detailed follow-up work has been undertaken.
Figure 1: Plan of EPM27901, 27902 and 27903 areas and historic anomalous pan stream sediments.
(Internally produced using data from sources set out at the end of this announcement)
Research suggests that little mineral exploration work has been done within the Lolworth Range. While historical ore-deposit reports and metal prices have provided some context and background to the opportunity, the ECR board believe that the most relevant exploration work undertaken within the application area was under AP4855M (by A.R.I Limited) during the 1987-88 period. The work this company undertook is one of the main reasons for the current application area. A.R.I Limited undertook a major stream sediment program within the drainage of the Lolworth Range via helicopter access. This work highlighted seven gold anomalous areas worth following up. Historical rock chip samples also demonstrate the prospectivity of the region with elevated gold in association with rhyolites and breccias. Eleven watersheds showed visible gold in pan concentrates.
Initial exploration is likely to include confirmation of existing stream sampling anomalies to potential watersheds, followed up by soil and rock chip sampling of ridgelines that are above these anomalous watersheds. The outcome of this work will delineate worthy drill targets.
Figure 2: Planned focus of exploration activities for EPM27901, 27902 and 27903.
Once the EPM licence applications have been approved, LUX Exploration Pty Ltd. will have initially 5 years to complete the planned exploration program, with right to apply for permit extensions for up to a total of 15 years. LUX Exploration will need to relinquish 50% of the initial application area after 5 years.
The work programmes and forecast expenditure for licenses EPM27901, 27902 and 27903 are expected to total £1.8m over 5 years (Figure 3). NB: These forecasts and projections represent the board’s assumptions and expectations in light of currently available information, and are based on industry trends, costs and other factors that are subject to change.
REVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT BY QUALIFIED PERSON
This announcement has been reviewed by Adam Jones, a director of 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.
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
ECR Minerals plc
David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman
Craig Brown, Director & CEO
Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
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