ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) is reviewing commercial options for its gold projects across Victoria, Australia, after receiving third party interest. In a wider update on its exploration progress across the assets, ECR’s chief executive Craig Brown said the firm was “considering potential transactions which may create value for the company and its shareholders”.

Although there can be no guarantee that any transaction will be progressed, the board are encouraged by the number of opportunities that are available. Further updates will be provided as appropriate,”  he added.

Through its subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia, ECR owns five exploration projects called Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool, and Timor across Central Victoria.

In Thursday’s announcement, the company revealed that it has commissioned Dr Dennis Arne to carry out a lithogeochemical study of chips generated by drilling at Creswick. Arne, who has consulted extensively at the world-renowned Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria, will work to determine whether quartz veining at Creswick is associated with the presence of ferroan carbonate.

Ferroan carbonate, which is associated with many nearby gold deposits in Victoria, increases as mineralised structures are approached. As such, its presence will be integral to future exploration at Creswick.

Meanwhile, ECR- which was trading close to a one-month high at 0.85p at writing – said it was considering several potential exploration programmes for Bailieston. Among its options is follow-on drilling at the Blue Moon prospect, where drilling last year returned an intercept of 2 metres at 17.87 grams per tonne gold.

Finally, ECR also provided an update on its Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia, where it is also preparing to explore for gold. The organisation said it has been granted an additional exploration licence at the site but has also withdrawn three applications for permits over areas now considered to be less prospective for gold. One further application remains in process.

With gold recently breaking through the crucial $1,600 an ounce psychological barrier and showing no signs of stopping, it is encouraging to see ECR lay out a clear, transparent plan. After all, junior gold exploration firms are among the most prominent beneficiaries when the safe-haven asset soars in times of uncertainty.

Following the release of Thursday’s update, ECR is sitting above its five, ten, and 100-day exponential moving averages but significantly below the highs of 1.22p at which it sat in June last year. With this in mind, the delivery of strong exploration results or some kind of commercial deal for one of its Victorian projects could provide plenty of upside to its current £3.9 million market cap.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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