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  • ‘We are in a strong strategic position’: Heddle and Baxter on their plans and outlook for Greatland Gold (GGP)

    Since hitting 2.3p in March after securing a game-changing farm-in agreement with world-leading gold miner Newcrest for its Havieron asset in Western Australia, shares in Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) have slipped to 1.7p. Over this period, Newcrest has begun the initial work at Havieron and Greatland has made considerable progress across the remainder of its Paterson project. With major developments on the horizon, MiningMaven spoke to Greatland’s CEO Gervaise Heddle and CTO Callum Baxter about how their plans in Paterson could trigger a considerable re-rate in the firm’s share price.

    Unique approach

    Greatland, which currently has a £55m market cap, is an AIM-listed natural resource exploration and development business operating primarily in the gold, copper, nickel, and cobalt markets. The company identifies and advances projects that could house large mineralised systems and holds on to them for as long as possible to maximise its range of options for monetisation.

    Greatland applies the most up-to-date exploration techniques possible in underexplored areas when looking for projects. Heddle says this allows the outfit to evaluate a site’s exploration potential in the lowest-cost and fastest way possible.

    ‘As an explorer, we recognise that combining leading edge exploration techniques with a strict capital allocation process is critical,’he tells us. ‘We are continuously trying to make the next significant discovery, but we also actively bring in projects and ideas. Exploration is a creative process, and you have always got to think about how you approach assets and how you interpret the data you receive. By using an array of modern exploration techniques in a systematic manner, we have been able to uncover prospects previously missed by other miners.’

    As it stands, Greatland owns six projects in Australia, a low-risk mining jurisdiction where its management team boasts decades of experience. The most advanced of these is its Paterson project, located in the Paterson province of Western Australia. The company owns three licences in the region spanning 385km2 of ground thought to be prospective for intrusion-related gold-copper systems.

    The Paterson region hosts several long-standing, world-class gold and copper deposits, with notable examples including Newcrest’s Telfer mine and Metals X’s Nifty copper sulphide mine. The district has enjoyed something of a renaissance over recent months following a new wave of exploration licence applications and high levels of prospecting from key regional players like Rio Tinto.

    A map of the major mining projects within the Paterson region of Western Australia

    Despite Paterson sitting on the massive Proterozoic Orogen formations that hosts the globally-significant Tropicana and Nova deposits in Australia, the region remains highly under-explored. Baxter believes this is because the region’s geology requires a particular set of exploration skills that Greatland has been able to master.

    ‘Rio’s discovery at Winu and Greatland’s success at Havieron have opened everyone’s eyes up to the Paterson region because it looks like there should be more deposits out there,’ he tells us. ‘However, most of the area’s mineralisation does not pop out at surface as it’s undercover at depths anywhere from 5m to 400m below the surface. Alongside us, we believe there are only a handful of companies that understand the geophysical processes to be able to explore this mineralisation in the region. We are in a strong strategic position.’

    Major opportunity

    Greatland’s most advanced prospect in Paterson is Havieron, which is found 45km east of Telfer and 500km east of rail and port infrastructure at Port Hedland. The asset is a large geophysical target consisting of a coincident magnetic and gravity anomaly covering an area of around 1,000m by 1,000m.

    Before its acquisition by Greatland, Havieron had been subject to minimal exploration despite encouraging early signs of prospectivity. Indeed, throughout the late nineties, six holes drilled by Newcrest intersected significant alternation including several high-grade zones with peak gold grades of 15.45g/t and peak copper grades of 2.5pc.

    According to 3D models created by Greatland, Havieron offers the potential for mineralisation extending from 400m to more than 1,200m below surface -readily accessible using modern drilling equipment. In April last year, Greatland broke new ground when it followed up these models with its first drill campaign at the asset. This saw it complete four vertical core holes for a total of 2,400m of drilling. According to the firm, the work, which returned a 121m intercept at 2.93g/t gold and 0.23pc copper.

    A subsequent, second drilling programme in September last year enhanced this potential even further by establishing new peak grades of 211.3g/t gold, 12.38pc copper, and 4,104ppm cobalt at the asset. This work also included a world-class combined intersection of 275m at 4.77g/t gold and 0.61pc copper.

    Havieron’s excellent early drilling results captured the attention of Newcrest, a world-leading gold miner with operations spanning Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. In March this year, Greatland announced that the major player had acquired the right to earn in up to a 70pc interest in the 12 blocks covering the Havieron target.

    To secure this prominent position, Newcrest must spend up to US$65m and complete a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over six years. The terms of each of these stages are outlined in the image below. Regardless of whether it decides to proceed with Havieron’s development, Newcrest must spend an initial US$5m on the asset within 12 months of the farm-in commencing.

    The terms of Greatland’s farm-in deal with Newcrest for Havieron


    Elsewhere, the farm-in sees Newcrest become manager of Havieron and grants it first right of refusal over the remainder of Greatland’s Paterson project licences. Heddle expects Havieron to become a cornerstone asset for Greatland if Newcrest’s efforts are successful.

    Newcrest and Greatland have agreed in principle that all ore from the asset will be toll processed at Telfer. By leveraging Newcrest’s existing infrastructure at Telfer, Greatland believes they will reduce upfront capital costs, time to production, and time to first cash flows at Havieron. In turn, this is expected to give the project a significantly higher net present value than if the firms had to build a separate processing plant and infrastructure.

    Newcrest got straight to work at Havieron completing a native title heritage survey and construction of a local field camp. Critically, it also revealed plans for a 10,000m drilling programme to define the extent of mineralisation along strike and at depth at Havieron, testing the system to a depth of 1,000m below surface. Newcrest’s drilling campaign has now commenced with two drill rigs active.

    Wider potential

    Moving away from Havieron, Greatland’s second considerable opportunity within its Paterson project is at Black Hills. The asset – purchased by the company in late 2017 – sits adjacent to Havieron’s north-western border and contains four distinct zones of mineralisation called Saddle Reefs, Eastern, Rogers, and Northern Granites. As with Havieron, the asset is regarded as having high potential or hosting gold deposits similar in style to Telfer.

    Greatland completed its first exploration campaign at Black Hills in June last year. The work was an immediate success, with prospectors encountering many gold nuggets and pieces in bedrock within days of arriving on-site. Likewise, rock chip samples from the site contained gold grades of up to 81.7g/t and established an 800m strike length of surface gold mineralisation at Saddle Reefs. These results suggested that Black Hills could be prospective for near-surface, low-cost and low-risk exploration. They also went on to inform a 3DIP survey that outlined a large, buried chargeability anomaly at Saddle Reefs over 1,000m of strike.

    Some of the gold nuggets identified by prospectors at Black Hills

    This year has seen Greatland deliver further progress at Black Hills, notably completing a high-powered, deep-sending IP survey. This work, which concluded last month, extended the strike length of Saddle Reef’s anomaly by 400m. Greatland is now comparing historical IP datasets with its own results to select new drill targets and preparing a 6,000m drilling plan to test the areas covered by its target anomaly.

    Greatland’s final Paterson project licence is Paterson Range East, which lies c.25km north of Havieron and covers 224sq kms of rocks prospective for Havieron-style gold-copper mineralisation. Greatland revealed last month that it was planning to conduct a low-level airborne magnetic survey over the entire licence. The work is expected to begin in early June and aims to increase the resolution of magnetic targets on the licence.

    Baxter tells us that Greatland identified these targets as part of an internal review of historical regional geophysical and geochemical data over the western Paterson region following its success at Havieron. All-in-all, this work identified a total of approximately 20 Havieron-style targets that have yet to be tested on Greatland’s Paterson Range East licence.

    The results of Greatland’s airborne survey will be used alongside other geophysical and geochemical data to prioritise targets to follow up with detailed modelling and drill testing.

    Pushing ahead

    Alongside its Paterson project, it is worth noting that Greatland owns several additional projects with significant potential. These will be covered in more detail in a later piece, but include the Firetower and Warrentinna projects in Tasmania, where numerous encouraging signs of gold prospectivity are yet to be explored fully. Meanwhile, in Western Australia, the firm also owns a vast greenstone belt called the Ernest Giles project, an asset that hosts two styles of potential gold mineralisation called Panorama, and a final prospect called Bromus.

    A map showing the location of the assets in Greatland’s portfolio

    Elsewhere, Greatland also intends to capitalise on general weakness in the junior resources sector by acquiring further projects. Heddle, a former fund manager, says he views Greatland’s assets like an investment portfolio, with the addition of new assets and the replacement of others proving pivotal when maximising returns for investors. His ambition is for this approach to lead to another major discovery that will see Greatland become a mid-tier miner when combined with its all-encompassing management style.

    ‘We are already getting out there and strengthening every aspect of the business,’ he says. ‘With these processes in place, I hope to grow Greatland’s business significantly from its current level. I think there is a realistic path to do that, although risk is attached. The exploration game is tough, but if we can apply the knowledge gained from our recent success and stick to a disciplined capital allocation approach, then we can maximise our chances to repeat this success.’

    Can Greatland deliver?

    Heddle’s plans are ambitious. However, they are by no means inconceivable. Within Paterson alone, Greatland boasts a substantial initial financial commitment from a global resources leader that could lead to a game-changing mine alongside additional projects and unexplored targets to boot. When this is combined the firm’s strong management team, wider portfolio prospects, and its cash in the bank (£4m as at 31 December 2018) its future potential seems bright.  With Greatland’s shares falling to 1.7p since hitting 2.3p when the Newcrest deal was announced, a favourable Havieron development decision and steady exploration progress elsewhere could well prompt a re-rate.

    This article first appeared on our sister site ValueTheMarkets.com at https://www.valuethemarkets.com/2019/06/12/we-are-in-a-strong-strategic-position-heddle-and-baxter-on-their-plans-and-outlook-for-greatland-gold-ggp/

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

     

  • ECR Minerals – right at the heart of Australia’s second gold rush (ECR)

    The goldfields in Victoria, South Australia are grabbing the world’s attention for the second time in history.

    Upon the first discovery of the precious metal in the 1850s, we saw this desert area become a major international mining centre.

    As you can probably imagine, technology has moved on from the hand-dug pits, wooden ladders and dynamite that marked these times.

    Today, 3D-mapping, drone-based mineralogical studies, and vast national resources devoted to seismic, geochemical and geochronological surveys are unearthing a deeper, second layer to Victoria’s gold rush.

    The Geological Survey of Victoria now estimates that 75 million ounces of high-grade gold is currently sitting under the earth in Australia’s most southern state.

    Tax no dampener on gold rush

    The scale of finds being made in Victoria are so enormous that the local government is even keen to cash in.

    In January 2020, it announced that mines recovering more than 2,500 ounces of gold a year would be subject to a 2.75% tax.

    But this has done little to dampen exploration interest.

    Not least because the state government has been handing out multi-million-dollar grants to mining companies to get their projects underway.

    What the tax development does mean, however, is that the cost of mining an ounce of gold has risen to the point where only the most well-capitalised projects with licenses to boot will succeed.

    Enter ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR).

    ECR has more than a few strings to its bow in Australia.

    The firm’s main area of interest is the Victoria boom.

    In Bailieston and Creswick, ECRboasts two enormously exciting and prospective Victoria gold projects.

    Bailieston is found in the major orogenic Lachlan Fold Belt, while Creswick sits on the Dimocks Main Shale that extends to Ballarat then miles to the south.

    Bailieston’s location within Victoria

    Recreating Kirkland Lake’s success

    Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX.KL) (NYSE:KL) has become the poster child for success in the current wave of Victoria gold interest.

    In the last five years, the firm’s share price has exploded 2,263% thanks to its ownership of the Fosterville Gold Mine.

    This has made the company and its investors rich by any standard.

    Fosterville is the largest gold producer in Victoria, increasing annual gold production by 315% between 2014 and 2018 while also seeing a 540% jump in gold head grade from 4.6g/t to 24.8g/t, according to the national geological survey.

    Operating cash costs of $130 to $150 per oz are laughably small for a world-class deposit, and the spot price of gold hitting new eight-year highs of $1,759 per oz has done nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the precious metal.

    ECR’s key tenement of Bailleston sits just 18 miles east of Fosterville and on the same rich seam of gold that has made millionaires of Kirkland’s investors.

    Trading volume has started to pick up in ECR since it won licences at the start of 2020.

    But with wider equity markets consumed by Covid-19, attention has been diverted away from a potential goldmine.

    With the ECR share price trading in a range at around 0.7p, there is huge upside potential to be had.

    The Blue Moon prospect at Bailieston, Victoria

    Firms flocking to Victoria

    ABC Australia reported in May 2020 that more than 80 mineral exploration applications are now underway in Victoria.

    And it is the UK and Canada-listed companies that have got there first.

    Top names include Power Metal Resources(LSE:POW), Red Rock Resources (LSE:RRR) and Fosterville South (TSX.V:FSX).

    The latter of these has this week spun off two of its gold projects at Avoca and Timor in Victoria — bought from none other than ECR — to create a new company, Leviathan Gold, with FSX shareholders receiving shares in Leviathan on a one-to-one basis.

    Shares in FSX rose by nearly 30% to an all-time high of CAD$4.35 on the news.

    ECR’s sale of Avoca and Timor to Fosterville South means that – as well as an upfront $500,000 to fund its Bailieston and Creswick exploration – ECR will receive $1 for every ounce of gold discovered, up to a maximum of $2,000,000.

    Multinational miners are now converging on Victoria, but they have been beaten to the punch to by their nimbler rivals.

    As a relatively small AIM-listed exploration, the results here could be a kingmaker for ECR.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • ECR Minerals examining commercial options in Victoria as exploration continues apace (ECR)

    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

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • ECR Minerals leaps as better-than-expected drill results further Creswick’s ‘transformational’ potential (ECR)

    Shares in ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) soared by 49.23pc to 0.97p on Wednesday afternoon after the business announced that its Creswick gold project in Australia may be much more prospective than previously thought. The precious metals exploration and development company said its drilling programme at the Victoria-based target has identified more quartz than expected.

    To date, the firm has carried out 1,687m of RC drilling in 17 holes at Creswick targeting multiple quartz vein orientations within a 15km-long hard rock geological feature called the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). More than one third of its drilled area has encountered quartz, including a zone exceeding 60m in width - more than twice the 25m width expected. Meanwhile, the business has encountered gold in all of the holes it has drilled so far, with grades in nine holes ranging from 0.6g/t to a whopping 44.63g/t.

    Critically, a technical review of the programme and its assay results - which has nearly completed - has confirmed that the mineralisation is ‘nuggety’ in nature. The State of Victoria in Australia is renowned for large gold nuggets. Indeed, in the list of nuggets published by the Geological Survey of Victoria it is reported there was a 112oz nugget found in a mine understood to be adjacent to one of the ECR’s drill locations at Creswick. In addition, it is reported several nuggets over 100 oz were found in the vicinity of the company’s drill targets and nuggets up to 625 oz further south in alluvial gullies downstream from the DMS.

    The discovery that gold within the DMS is nuggety is also important because such a style of mineralisation can lead to understated assay results. This is because the chance that a gold nugget will be captured in a drilled meter decreases as the nugget increases in size. Likewise, only a small portion of each RC drilling sample bag is actually tested, meaning results could be understated if one or more large nugget is not included in the tested portion. That being said - as ECR points out - this could also lead to results being overstated in the event that a large nugget is captured in the small tested portion that does not accurately represent the sample bag as a whole.

    To fix this issue, the business has resolved to complete gravity concentration tests on entire sample bags for all of its drilling to date. This new approach is already reaping rewards for the organisation, with a nugget being identified in a previously untested portion of a sample bag from hole CSR011. All-in-all, the whole bag has demonstrated gold grades of 11.8g/t from the new gravity concentration tests - some 528pc greater than the previous 1.88g/t assay result.

    With this in mind, ECR said the results of the assays from its drilling programme may be unreliable indicators of true grade at this stage. It added that it will release results as the more representative while of sample bag analyses are conducted at an accelerated rate.

    Regardless, the firm ended its update on a particularly bright note, claiming that it believes there is potential for a ‘very substantial gold deposit’ within the DMS. ECR’s chief executive Craig Brown added that the large footprint gold system at Creswick offers ‘transformational potential’.

    ‘The question we have to answer is how much gold does the DMS hold that would be amenable to a bulk tonnage gold mining operation. We are closing in on the answer and the directors believe that the outcome has the potential to be Company transformational and is therefore deserving of our close attention,’ he said. ‘We eagerly await the findings from the whole of bag gravity concentration work and will report back to the market as significant developments occur.’

    The DMS sits between two large gold producing areas in Victoria, Australia where it is estimated that, historically, 15MMozs of gold have been produced. ECR’s technical team previously announced its belief that it had identified the hard rock source for a significant portion of this work. However, further work was required to validate this proposition. With this is mind, Wednesday announcement appears to add yet more weight to the company’s thesis regarding Creswick’s upside potential.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    The Author has been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

     

  • ECR Minerals now drilling at two projects in world-renowned Victoria Goldfields (ECR)

    ECR Minerals (LON: ECR) said drilling is now underway at two of its Australian projects, an excellent step forward for the company in the lucrative Victoria Goldfields.

    The Victoria Goldfields, where the two projects are located, also hosts Kirkland Lake Gold’s (NYSE: KL | TSE: KL | ASX: KLA) world-famous Fosterville mine.

    Both gold projects, Bailieston and Creswick, are wholly owned by ECR through Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia.

    At Bailieston, successful drilling is ongoing and the firm is looking forward to presenting assay results from recent holes, especially after an initial geological review of the drill core.

    So far, hole BH3DD005 has targeted Bailieston’s Maori Reef, while holes BH3DD006 and BH3DD007 “targeted a hypothesised central anticline”, with initial geological interpretation suggesting the anticline is present and “represents a favourable target for hosting gold mineralisation”.

    Another hole, BH3DD006, was drilled in order to test the Dan Genders Reef.

    Moreover, soil sampling from Bailieston’s HR3 area “has identified very high gold grades in soils”, chief executive Craig Brown noted, lending yet more support to ECR’s drill targeting and geological modelling.

    Laboratory results from analysing 229 soil samples from the central and eastern part of HR3 include values as high at 3.75 parts per million. Results right now are being plotted and analysed for comparison to the results of portable X-ray fluorescence analysis.

    These results will aid ECR in identifying potential vein extensions, as well as possible undiscovered veins running parallel to Bailieston’s known reef systems.

    Meanwhile, at Creswick, previous exploration drilling targeted gold mineralisation associated with quartz veins within the Dimocks Main Shale – a hard-rock alluvial and deep lead gold source.

    Individual samples from prior drilling of around 300 metres of the Dimocks Main Shal “returned assays as high as 80.97 g/t gold over one metre”.

    Now, MGA has contracted for at least 1,200 metres of diamond drilling at Creswick, with the first of around ten holes already underway.

    Compared to the previous drilling, drill sites for this latest programme are located approximately 2.2 kilometres south along the Dimocks Main Shale-trend.

    Brown said the firm was “pleased”that drilling was now underway at two Victoria projects, and that ECR looked forward to announcing the latest assay results in due course.

    Brown added that the company’s “strong cash position” is what allowed it “to expand drilling operations” and start drilling at Creswick through external contractors.

    “We are very excited by the potential scale of the opportunity at Creswick and a larger scale drill programme at the project is something we have been eager to undertake,” Brown said.

    Author: Anna Farley

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

  • ECR Minerals rewarded with near-£300k refund for Australian R&D work (ECR)

    ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) was trading at 0.7p a share on Thursday after revealing that its cash balance has been boosted by a large research and development refund. The Australia-focused mining company has received AUD 555,212 (approximately £295,515) for its research into turbidite-hosted gold deposits in Victoria.

    ECR is the 100% owner of five exploration projects in the state called Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool, and Timor. Over the past year, it has completed a large amount of drilling across these areas, recent confirming the presence of nuggety gold mineralisation at Creswick.

    Elsewhere, ECR said that – as at 30 September last year – it had carried forward corporate income tax losses of AUD 66,341,687 (approximately £35.3 million). The organisation expects this figure to be available for offset against taxable gains in the future.

    Craig Brown, ECR’s chief executive officer, said the refund provides a “significant boost” to the firm’s cash position at a strong time for gold prices. Gold prices continue to remain high after surging 18% throughout 2019, driven forward by trade tensions between the US and China, buying from central banks, and an increase in investment demand.

    The gold price remains strong and we believe there is considerable and growing interest in respect of Australian gold exploration, and we have also observed strong interest in the Victorian goldfields where we have an active exploration portfolio,” added Brown. “Overall, the board believes the additional cash creates exciting opportunities for an entrepreneurial gold-focused company like ECR.”

    Thursday’s news signalled the end of a quiet period for ECR, whose last release came in November. The company revealed that final “full bag” analysis had confirmed that “very high grade” nuggety gold mineralisation is present in a formation called the Dimocks Main Shale at Creswick, Brown said he believes there to be “significant upside” at the project in light of the results, adding that the company is now considering “how best to build on the results obtained”.

    Elsewhere, ECR is the owner of the Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of western Australia. Here, the firm is searching for Archaean greenstones buried beneath cover, which it believes to present an excellent gold exploration opportunity. In October, a study by Western Geophysics indicated “feasible drill targets” at the project.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Victoria, Australia - The Next Frontier in Gold Exploration

    A gold opportunity of epic proportions has opened up in southern Australia.

    Beneath the planes of Victoria lie as many as 75 million high-grade ounces of the precious metal, just waiting to be found.

    That’s the view of the Geological Survey of Victoria, at least, and the global exploration community has begun to cotton on. After all, plays like this don’t go long unnoticed.

    It all started with Kirkland Lake Gold’s (NYSE:KL) Fosterville Gold Project – the world’s highest grade and lowest cost gold mine.

    Local media reports that this world-class mining region is reaching “frenzy state”.

    Juniors have flocked to Victoria from all over the world hoping to replicate Fosterville’s success. These firms have been aggressively acquiring licenses and commencing drill programmes. In the past 12 months they’ve enjoyed increasingly exceptional results.

    It’s not just these smaller firms that have zoned in on Victoria though. Juggernaut miner Newmont (NYSE:NEM) has even staked a vast land package in the region.

    Majors like this typically leave exploration to the junior explorers, jumping in when a commercial discovery is made. But with so much high-grade gold and such low mining costs on offer, what’s the point in waiting? Especially when even the locals are even getting involved.

    In July last year, one Victoria retiree discovered a 2 kilogram gold nugget worth USD$130,000 armed only with a metal detector and a shovel.

    In these goldfields, great riches are everywhere to be found.

    And amid this tidal wave of interest, three London-listed exploration companies are among the best placed to seize the Victoria gold opportunity.

    Red Rock Resources (LSE:RRR), Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW) and ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) were the first in London to spot this an enormous opportunity and moved before anyone else could blink.

    The three firms staked vast claims in three of the most prospective mining areas in Victoria – Ballarat, Bendigo, and Creswick.

    With each company now getting ready to accelerate its plans, the potential for multiple investment returns is tantalising.

    Click here to download our exclusive report for a deep dive into the three UK firms working to generate fortunes in Victoria - the world's hottest gold exploration frontier