ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) rose 3.3pc to 0.94p on Tuesday morning after revealing that its new approach to sampling for gold at the Creswick project has so far yielded positive and upgraded results.
Following a technical review earlier this year, the business confirmed that the Victoria-based project’s mineralisation is ‘nuggety’ in nature. This meant that the firm’s assay results to date from the project, which were completed using ‘part-of-bag’ sampling techniques, may have understated its gold potential considerably.
To rectify this, ECR devised a new ‘whole-of-bag’ sampling technique called gravity concentration that it has now begun reapplying to all of the samples it has collected to date. At the time, the organisation’s chief executive Craig Brown said that this new approach could be ‘company transformational’, leading ECR’s share to soar to 1.23p.
In Tuesday’s update, ECR said that, following delays stemming from poor winter weather in Victoria, it has now established a testing process fully. This uses the dual methods of gravity and chargeability and is capable of removing coarse, fine and ultrafine particles of gold from the RC samples. ECR said that, while the process adds time to the testing period for each bag, it is essential for reliable data collection.
The process is now beginning to yield results from samples taken from the quartz zones around the higher grade results from holes CSR006 and CSR012 and a single bag from CSR010. The CSR006 sample from 15-16 m has been upgraded from 44.63 g/t to 63.03 g/t. Of this gold, 50pc was in the tails indicating there is a significant component of very fine gold with the nuggets) Meanwhile, ECR said it recorded further gold content upgrades in most bags processed along with downgrades in three packs.
Approximately 7km of the licences and applications that make up Creswick cover a 25m-wide, 15km-long geological feature called the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). The DMS is the hard-rock source of a vast amount of alluvial and deep lead gold and has been responsible for a significant portion of Victoria’s historic gold production, which totals 15MMozs. As such, ECR believes its licence area has the potential to host large amounts of gold mineralisation. ECR enjoyed a significant breakthrough at Creswick last year when its exploration mapping identified an extensive gold system across its DMS gold targets.
Using its new sampling method, ECR is seeking to understand the particle size distribution/nugget effect and which geological structures/veins preferably host gold to enable it to devise follow on work programmes. The firm’s longer-term goal is to ascertain the licences’ potential for commercial production.
In Tuesday’s update, Brown said it was ‘positive’ to see results so far that overall demonstrate increased gold in the company’s samples.
‘These are the early results, however, and a significant amount of further information is required before conclusions can be drawn,’ he added. ‘The results so far have demonstrated significant variability from the original assays, demonstrating that the small sample size can overstate and understate results. Notably the original 44.63 g/t assay from the 2 kg sample from CSR006 (15-16 m) is increased to 63.03 g/t. Of particular importance is that we use the data gathered from our work generally, and the test results themselves, to understand the geological structures involved and the distribution of gold mineralisation.’
To support it in its new sampling efforts, ECR also announced the appointment Dr Simon Dominy – a mining geologist-geometallurgist with over 25 years of experience on Tuesday. Dominy will evaluate the results, review the sampling process, and guide future exploration & project development work.
‘I would like to welcome Dr Simon Dominy FGS(CGeol) FAusIMM(CPGeo) as a consultant to the Company,’ said Brown. ‘Simon has extensive relevant experience evaluating high-nugget effect gold deposits and will help assess our results and guide our future work programmes.’