Central Victorian Goldfields Property Purchase to Provide Accommodation, Potential Site for New Core Shed, Storage and Workshop Facilities, and additional Exploration Opportunity
ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, is pleased to announce that its 100% owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Holdings Pty Ltd (“MGA”) has concluded the purchase of a property at 177 Bassett Road, Sebastian (the “Property”). The Property is located approx. 12.5 miles north of Bendigo (11 miles from current core shed location) and is located within easy reach of ECR’s 100% owned Bailieston and Creswick license areas.
- Accommodation with five bedrooms and three living rooms plus an office currently, with plans to convert into seven bedrooms and two living rooms. The Bassett Road property will save ECR a substantial amount in annual hotel accommodation and commercial property rental costs, providing convenient co-location of employees and consequentially a substantial reduction in travel time and expenses.
- Bassett Road is positioned on approx. 59 acres of farming land, with ability to construct additional buildings on the land subject to planning approval.
- The potential exists to develop and construct a geological core processing facility with sample storage shed, drilling supplies warehouse and mechanical workshop on the land, subject to local council planning approval being granted.
- Currently connected to the mains power supply with an additional 3kW Solar system with batteries and 3kW wind turbine, the property can be powered “off grid” as it has been for the past 10 years, along with an independent water supply connection.
- The purchase price of the property is A$887,500, has been settled in full. The purchase has been funded by the Company’s existing cash resources. As at the close of business on 17 September 2021 the Group had £3,400,000 (USD equivalent $4,650,000) in the bank after paying the full settlement for the property.
- Quartz is visible at sites across the 59 acres of the Property. As gold in Australia can be contained in quartz the Company is looking to obtain an exploration licence over the Property
Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer commented: “I am pleased to announce ECR’s third property acquisition in the Victoria Goldfields. As we maintain our aggressive drilling campaigns at Bailieston and Creswick, our profile in Victoria is growing rapidly. The Bassett Road property and land acquisition marks the next step along the road, cutting out our mounting monthly accommodation and property rental costs, and bringing our Bendigo storage and core logging activities all onto one site. Added to this, regional property market data indicates that the Victoria property market should see our properties and land at Bassett Road, Nagambie-Rushworth Road and Brewing Lane grow in value in the coming months and years. Furthermore, within the 59 acres of the property, there is visible evidence of quartz which could also indicate potential for gold. With this positive indication, we have been in discussions to obtain the exploration licence over the property. In addition, mining companies are often receiving negative press for their lack of ‘green’ credentials, so the opportunity to run the Bassett Lane property and site wholly ‘off grid’ with our own solar and wind turbine power marks a small step for ECR along the road to reducing our carbon footprint.”
Rationale for Purchase of 177 Bassett Road, Sebastian
As ECR continues its aggressive drilling campaigns at its 100% owned Bailieston and Creswick licence areas, the costs of hiring and accommodating employees is growing exponentially. Since drilling with the Midas rig kicked off at Bailieston in January 2021, we have seen our monthly accommodation expenses increase substantially, on top of the considerable monthly outlay for renting the core logging premises at Bendigo. Given this backdrop, the ECR Board (“Board”) took the decision to seek a fixed cost alternative, with the potential to create accommodation, core logging and processing and storage all in one location.
The Property was shortlisted against a number of properties conveniently located around Bendigo and following due consideration the decision was taken to purchase 177 Bassett Road. The Property is positioned on approx. 59 acres of farming land, currently with the potential to sleep at least seven people. The property enjoys an independent water supply connection, with connection to the mains power supply plus an additional 3kW Solar system with batteries and 3kW wind turbine. As such the property has the ability to run “off the grid” (power) as it has for the last 10 years. Most significantly, the Property comes with approx. 59 acres of farming land, of which 50 acres has been used for sharecropping, a system where the landlord allows a tenant to use the land in exchange for a share of the crop. The land offers ample scope to construct buildings for a geological core processing facility with sample storage shed, drilling supplies warehouse and mechanical workshop.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (“CBA”), Australia’s biggest housing lender, published its full year results in February 2021 and forecast property prices would rise by 8 per cent in 2021 and 6 per cent in 2022, with house prices to rise 16 per cent in that time and unit prices by 9 per cent. Whilst there can be no guarantee as to the performance of the property market in Australia, in making the purchase, the Board has given due consideration to the prevailing property market, including the data published by CBA*.
*Commonwealth Bank of Australia statistics (February 2021)
The vendors are a private family who have been using the Property for residential purposes.
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
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7929 1010
David Tang, Non-Executive Chairman
Craig Brown, Director & CEO
ABOUT ECR MINERALS PLC
ECR Minerals is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (“MGA”) has 100% ownership of the Bailieston and Creswick gold projects in central Victoria, Australia, and has eight licence applications outstanding including two licence applications lodged in eastern Victoria (Tambo gold project). MGA is currently drilling at both the Bailieston and Creswick projects and has an experienced exploration team with significant local knowledge in the Victoria Goldfields and wider region.
ECR also owns 100% of an Australian subsidiary LUX Exploration Pty Ltd (“LUX”) which has three licence applications covering 900 km2 covering a relatively unexplored area in Queensland, Australia.
Following the sale of the Avoca, Moormbool and Timor gold projects in Victoria, Australia to Fosterville South Exploration Ltd (TSX-V: FSX) and the subsequent spin-out of the Avoca and Timor projects to Leviathan Gold Ltd (TSX-V: LVX), Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited has the right to receive up to A$2 million in payments subject to future resource estimation or production from projects sold to Fosterville South Exploration Limited.
ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines, which has a 43-101 compliant resource. ECR also holds a royalty on the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina and can potentially receive up to US$2.7 million in aggregate across all licences.
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