Shares in ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) were up 6.5% on Tuesday morning after the firm announced its drilling programme in Victoria will begin this week. ECR is testing a number of gold targets across two 100% owned projects; Creswick and Bailieston.

At the Creswick project, the company is focussing on a large gold system identified within the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). The DMS sits between two large gold producing areas where it is estimated historically, almost 15 million ounces of gold has been produced in Victoria, Australia. This includes up to 2.6 million ounces Au from the the Creswick/Berry lead system, and up to 11 million ounces Au in the Ballarat area as a whole - the DMS is a significant contributor to the latter.

Only two holes have been drilled to test the DMS within the Creswick licence, however exploration mapping undertaken by ECR’s technical team has revealed a potential link between the large alluvial gold system at Ballarat and Creswick.

Once work at Creswick is complete the drill rig will move to the Blue Moon gold prospect in the Bailieston project. The project is located just 30km from the largest producing gold mine in Victoria, called Fosterville. The Fosterville gold mine produced around 300,000 ounces of gold in 2018. Also, a similar distance away is the Costerfield mine that currently produces 50,000 ounces per annum.

ECR identified the gold system at Blue Moon in July last year. Assay results provided evidence of a significant near surface mineralised system, with large mineralised gold intercepts just 24.2 metres beneath the surface. The company hopes the gold system proves to be comparable to some of the mineralisation exploited at the Fosterville mine, with drilling last year supporting this hypothesis.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer of ECR, commented: “I am delighted to announce the commencement of this dual drill programme at Creswick and Bailieston which is seeking to test multiple gold targets across both projects.

This is an extensive drilling campaign by the Company, and one of the largest we have undertaken in recent times. ECR’s objective is to discover a multi-million ounce gold deposit in Australia and based on the significant technical work undertaken to date, we believe the Creswick and Bailieston licences hold the potential for such a discovery.

All the planned drilling is being undertaken from existing cash resources. The Company will be entitled to claim back a proportion of drilling costs under government grants subsidising drilling. As a result, and assuming on budget operations and cost recovery through grants, the entire programme is estimated to amount to under 20% of existing cash resources.

I would like to thank our technical team and advisers for their hard work in recent weeks to bring this programme together.

We will ensure material developments are released to the market as appropriate during the coming weeks and months.”

Author: Stuart Langelaan

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