ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) was sat at 0.9p during midday trading on Monday after revealing drilling progress in at its Black Cat gold prospect in Victoria, Australia. The business said it has now completed 250m of rotary air blast drilling across ten new holes in the area.

Most of the holes have been drilled in the northern part of the prospect, based within ECR’s Bailieston gold project and immediately south of ground recently applied for by Newmont Exploration. However, three have been completed on the main central workings and one in the southern dyke.

Wide zones of alteration were intersected in seven holes, with quartz veining in another two. Meanwhile, 77 samples have been delivered for laboratory assay testing, with results awaited. ECR said it would provide the results of these tests ‘at the earliest opportunity’, once the company’s technical team has analysed them.

In the meantime, the company will continue to drill the remainder of its planned 450m programme at Black Cat. Black Cat is among the high priority targets identified by Terra Resources in 2017 and has not previously been drilled

ECR chief executive Craig Brown said: ‘As with Creswick and Bailieston Blue Moon, drilling at Black Cat is proceeding well and we are pleased with the work undertaken to date. We look forward to providing further drilling progress updates and the findings following the review of assay results by our technical team.’

The news comes just days after ECR said it has now completed 1,687m of reverse circulation drilling in 17 target holes at its Creswick gold project.  Here, it is targeting multiple quartz vein orientations within the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS) through a 4,000-6,000m drilling programme.  

The DMS a 15km-long hard rock geological feature and the source of much alluvial and deep lead gold. Exploration mapping by the company has identified a large gold system within the structure.

Last week, ECR said its drilling has so far intersected quartz reefs, as anticipated.  It is now awaiting assay results to determine the extent of gold mineralised shoots in samples.

The firm noted that increasing interest in gold exploration across Victoria has led to a significant increase in the number of samples being processed at local laboratories recently.  As a result, it now expects samples to be turned around in two to four weeks rather than one week, as originally predicted.

As in Monday’s Black Cat announcement, ECR added that it would provide further updates to the market ‘at the earliest opportunity’.  However, the firm added that it expects a flow of assay results over coming weeks because its samples have been sat in laboratories ‘for some time’.

Elsewhere, ECR said it has now completed 774m of RC drilling in six target holes at its Blue Moon gold prospects.  Work at Blue Moon, located near Black Cat in Bailieston, follows up on the evidence of a near-surface mineralised gold system announced last July. Drilling at the site is ongoing and is targeting extensions of areas where sulphides have been intersected, and gold mineralisation has been identified. The firm is now reviewing its field finding here with a view to drilling further in areas of noted interest.

Alongside its various drilling updates, January saw ECR announce that it had submitted applications for the nine exploration licences that make up the Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of Australia. The area has been identified as a gold exploration opportunity because it has the potential to contain Archaean greenstones beneath shallow cover.

Archaean greenstones host many of Western Australia and the world’s most prolific gold deposits. The under-cover greenstone gold exploration model has already been tested successfully by Greatland Gold at its nearby Ernest Giles project. Furthermore, ECR’s licence applications also cover a large proportion of an identified gravity-magnetic trend with known gold prospects along trend to the south.

Previous exploration at Windidda has only targeted base metal and manganese deposit within cover sequences.  ECR expects its target areas to be amenable to aircore drilling. It hopes this will enable it to make a rapid assessment of their potential for gold mineralisation.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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