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  • 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 applies for new licenses near Newmont application in Victoria (ECR)

    ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) announced on Tuesday that is has submitted a number of new license applications to potentially add to its existing gold exploration interests in the Victoria region of Australia.

    The four new license applications have been submitted by ECR’s 100% owned Australian operating vehicle Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited. Three of the applications relate to the Bailieston/Moormbool gold project area to augment existing licences and secure available ground south and south and south-west of an application submitted by Newmont Exploration Pty Limited in recent weeks. Newmont’s license application for a large area near to ECRs existing Bailiston gold project bodes well for ECR. A company of that size typically dedicates a great deal of resources to due diligence prior to securing new licenses and ECR extending its own acreage nearby could prove to be a very prudent move.

    The other license application has been submitted to add to the ground in the Creswick project area and covers a southern portion of the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). The DMS sits between two large gold producing areas where it is estimated historically, 15 million ounces of gold has been produced in Victoria, Australia. The Company’s technical team believes they have identified the hard rock source for a significant portion of the aforementioned 15 million ounces of gold production, although it notes further work is required to validate this proposition. 

    Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer of ECR Minerals plc commented: “I am delighted to announce today that the Company has successfully submitted four new applications which materially bolster our strategic ground holding and provide significant additional exploration opportunities for our Australian operations.

    The recent application submitted by Newmont Exploration Pty Limited over a large area bordering our Bailieston and Moormbool gold projects is an important ratification of our strategic Australian gold positioning. The presence of Newmont adds weight to the potential prospectivity of the area.

    ECR’s exploration work at Bailieston has recently demonstrated gold prospectivity as highlighted by the results of our Bailieston sampling programme announced on 28 September 2018 with gold grades up to 67.4g/t.

    At Creswick and as announced on 25 September 2018 our exploration mapping revealed a large gold system, and reflecting our wider exploration work to date, we have taken the opportunity to secure more strategic ground south of our existing Creswick project area.

    ECR continues to examine new opportunities and will move to secure additional ground where appropriate.”

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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, 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 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