ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) sat at 0.8p a share this morning after releasing details on how it plans to advance its entire portfolio against a ‘backdrop of difficult conditions in the junior resource sector’.

In an update on Tuesday, the precious metals exploration and development company said work continues ‘at pace’ across its gold projects in Australia, with regular updates due as it makes progress. This update follows the news last month that the firm had produced high-grade gold in rock chip samples taken from its HR3 project at Bailieston, Victoria.

Elsewhere in yesterday’s update, ECR said recent work at its 100pc-owned Sierra de las Minas project in Argentina has highlighted several avenues where it could demonstrate and build shareholder interests. It added that it is continuing to monitor developments in the Philippines to identify ways of generating value from its 25pc position in the country’s Danglay project.

Beyond its immediate portfolio, ECR said it has been presented with some additional gold-focused opportunities. These have included Australia’s Iceberg Gold Project, which comprises three tenements totalling 137km2 of ground immediately along strike and adjacent to the Tropicana gold mine. Operated by AngloGold Ashanti, Tropicana has a gold mineral resource estimate of 8MMozs.

In August, ECR signed an agreement to secure a 60-day option over Iceberg, comprising an immediate £10,000 cash payment and a further payment of £15,000 through the issue of ECR shares at 1p each. If ECR wishes to exercise the option, it may acquire a 100pc interest in Iceberg through a further payment of £225,000 in shares.

In Tuesday’s update, the business said it has applied for a one-month extension of the option period to 1 December at no additional cost, allowing it to complete its due diligence activities. Its review of the project has been extended to include a detailed examination of significant historical exploration work including extensive geochemical data.

Aside from Iceberg, ECR said it has started to review several additional strategic gold project acquisition opportunities. It said it sees a ‘considerable advantage in building a diverse, low-costs, and strategically significant portfolio of gold interests’, adding that it is being aided towards this goal by current market weakness.

Finally, yesterday saw ECR announce that it has identified numerous energy metal and mineral opportunities, with several projects now undergoing due diligence. It said it has begun to pursue this avenue after recognising the ‘very significant interest being shown in energy metals and minerals for battery technologies and general electrification demand’. It added that it has ‘received recent specific interest from third parties who have a strategic interest in the development of an energy metals and minerals pipeline.’

On the update, ECR’s chief executive Craig Brown said: ‘ECR Minerals finds itself at a very interesting point in its development with a number of options for forward business development and growth. The backdrop of difficult conditions in the junior resource sector has simply opened up multiple opportunities and although we would all like to see stronger market conditions generally, ECR is taking full advantage of the wide breadth of projects available.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

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