ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) sat firm at 1p this morning after that it has secured an option for a gold project in Western Australia. The business signed an agreement with Pacific Trends Resources to secure an option over the Iceberg Gold Project, which is adjacent to AngloGold Ashanti and Independence Group’s 8MMoz Tropicana gold mine. Iceberg is made up of three tenements totalling 137km2 of ground within a Proterozoic belt, which is known to host significant deposits of gold, copper, nickel, and uranium.
ECR will pay £25,000 to secure a 60-day option period, made up of £10,000 cash payable immediately and £15,000 through the immediate issue of 1.5m ECR shares at 1p each. If it decides to exercise the option, it will be able to purchase a 100pc stake in Iceberg through a further payment of £225,000 in ECR shares. Finally, if the firm decides to develop the project and enters into production, it will have to issue a final 30m shares to Pacific Trends.
Today’s news comes just weeks after that it would ring-fence an initial A$100,000 (c.£56,000) from a recent £650,000 strategic funding package to pursue new gold and other metal opportunities in Western Australia. Craig Brown, chief executive officer at ECR, said:
‘The signing of this option agreement is another step forward in ECR’s campaign to become a leading Australian-focused gold and strategic metals exploration and development company. Competition for project opportunities in the Proterozoic belts is increasing, particularly following recent large discoveries in the Paterson Province of Western Australia. There remains the potential for further multi-million ounce discoveries within this type of geology.
‘Given this backdrop, the ECR Minerals team are excited to be offered an opportunity to secure an option over this project package. Subject to the successful completion of our due diligence work, we look forward to moving forward with the project. Following its recent financing ECR is well funded and able to engage proactively on its project interests. Your company continues to build on these activities to deliver a broader based and refocused ECR Minerals.’
If ECR does exercise today’s option, then Iceberg will sit alongside its Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool and Timor gold exploration licences in Australia, which it wholly-owns through its subsidiary, Mercator Gold Australia. The business has also earned a 25pc interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project, an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines.
Finally, ECR’s wholly owned Argentine subsidiary Ochre Mining wholly-owns the SLM gold project in La Rioja, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near-term production.