ECR Minerals plc (ECR.L) High Gold and Antimony Results from Soil Sampling, Victoria, Australia


ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, is pleased to announce results from recent soil sampling undertaken within the Historic Reserve #3 (HR3) Bailieston in Victoria, Australia and 100%-owned by ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”).

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“I am delighted to announce further positive exploration news, this time from the implementation of a soil sampling programme utilising an innovative exploration methodology (see below) at HR3 that has revealed particularly high gold grades in soils and therefore identified a new target for drilling.

The significance of these findings means we have now submitted a request for consent to undertake additional exploration drilling at the location, which is over and above initial planned drill holes in the area.

As the momentum of our two rig drill programmes continues to build, additional findings such as those announced today further demonstrate the geological prospectivity of our licence areas. I look forward to providing further updates as material exploration data is received and reviewed by the Company.”


  • Soil sampling has revealed high gold anomalies (up to 3.75 g/t Au) along with spatially associated antimony which is thought to be from the mineral stibnite which forms a close association with gold mineralisation.
  • A total of 720 B-horizon soil samples were taken across the central and eastern part of the Bailieston Historic Reserve # 3 (HR3) between February and March 2021.

The samples were tested by portable X-ray fluorescence (“pXRF”) for anomalous pathfinder elements for gold and a selected sub-set of 229 samples have been sent for trace element analysis (TL) for Au, Ag, As, Sb, Zn, Cu and Pb.

  • Results of this work show a strong spatial relationship between Au (gold), Sb (antimony) and to a lesser extent As (arsenic). Plotting of spatial Au-Sb elemental maps reveals trends which may correspond to the weathering of high grade gold shoots under shallow cover (fig. 1).
  • Field mapping shows sub-cropping quartz with little to no historical workings associated with these anomalies. Plans have been submitted for approval to drill along strike to test these quartz reefs at depth.


Soils grids were designed over known and the possible strike extensions of gold-bearing quartz reefs. A 10m x 10m spaced grid was chosen as it is known that narrow high-grade gold reefs will erode over a small spatial area into the adjacent soil.

Metal detector prospectors in central Victoria know this phenomenon creating what are known as ‘patches’ and often contain visible coarse gold. Soils have been taken from the B-horizon, often at the gravel-clay interface at a depth around 10cm. This is where the gravels have not transported too far from their source rocks.

Soils located within gullies and adjacent mullock dumps were removed due to contamination. All soils were sieved on site to < 2mm and bagged, producing a sample around 300g in weight. A total of 720 samples have been taken to date (June 2021). All soils were systematically analysed in-house using ECR’s owned Olympus pXRF. Analysis is undertaken using three sequential beams with a 15 second count attributing to each beam. Results are evaluated for traditional pathfinder elements such as As, Ag, Pb, Zn, Cu and Sb. Soil with moderate arsenic content (generally > 40 ppm) and soils spatially close to extensions to known reef lines were selected for further trace elemental analysis for Au, Ag, As, Pb, Zn, Cu and Sb. A total of 229 sub-samples have been selected and sent to ALS laboratories, Adelaide, South Australia. Method Au-TL44/ME-ICP44 was chosen for analysis.

A detection limit in ppm is sufficient given the proximity to possible gold sources. Any Au-TL44 results greater than 1 ppm was analysed by Au-AROR44 which is used for ‘ore grade’ analysis. A 50g charge from a 95% passing 75µm pulverise was chosen due to the likely presence of coarse gold.


Thirteen samples returned gold values above 0.1 g/t Au. Silver, Copper, lead and Zinc results are low within the soils.

Arsenic is traditionally used as a pathfinder element for gold mineralisation and occurs at moderate levels within soils at HR3 and is fairly distributed which will mask blind gold deposits.

Antimony (Sb) results are variable with high results correlating spatially with high gold assays (fig1)

Figure 1:

Rock chips taken during 2018 along strike of the main soil anomaly showed a visible speck of coarse gold (fig. 2). Assays for these rock chips were analysed using a small charge fire assay resulting in variable results (up to 0.32 g/t Au) reflecting how coarse gold can be missed using traditional assay methods. Furthermore, non-executive director (Adam Jones) in February 2019 has found coarse gold by using a metal detector within the shallow soils in the vicinity of the reported soil anomalies (fig 3).

Figure 2:

Figure 3:


Results from the undertaking of this work reflect a close gold-antimony spatial relationship with a low to moderate arsenic undertone within the Bailieston goldfield. Further soil analysis for pathfinder elements will be undertaken on other tenements now under increased exploration activity within central Victoria such as Creswick, near Ballarat.

The outcome of this work will greatly increase the chances of finding blind sub-surface gold bearing reefs that have been missed by previous explorers.

To our current knowledge, this is the first-time geochemical analysis has been undertaken at such a high standard within these tenements.

Plans have been submitted for approval to drill underneath and along strike of these anomalous soils. Once approved, this drilling will be a continuation of the current drilling program that is underway on nearby HR4, Cherry Tree.


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.


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.


ECR Minerals plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010

David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman

Craig Brown, Director & CEO


[email protected]


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