ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) confirmed plans to pursue new gold and other metal opportunities in Western Australia today, leading shares to advance 5.9pc to 0.9p. The company will ringfence an initial A$100,000 (c.£56,000) from its recent £650,000 strategic funding package to carry out activities such as due diligence and licence applications on numerous new targets.
The news follows an announcement last week that saw ECR reveal that it was aware of ‘numerous opportunities to augment its Australian gold exploration portfolio’. In today’s update, it said the target areas are centred on precious and strategic energy metals and minerals, with a primary focus on gold.
Among the precious metal opportunities is a target of conglomerate-hosted gold in Western Australia and more traditional gold targets in the wider Victoria Region, which ECR said would complement its existing interests. The business added that the strategic energy and mineral opportunities it has identified are widely varied, but recent work has generally focused on target areas hosting lithium and cobalt – two essential battery metals.
Craig Brown, CEO of ECR Minerals, said: ‘The recent strategic financing has placed the company in an extremely strong financial position with sufficient working capital against current operational plans until at least Q3 2019. The strength of this financial position means, as a company, we are able to proactively progress our current business interests but also to aggressively pursue new opportunities that may complement our existing portfolio of projects in Australia.
‘This announcement confirms that we are seeking to build ECR’s portfolio expeditiously reflecting the resurgence in the Australian resource environment and the steadily reducing pool of reasonably priced projects and exploration ground. At this time significant opportunities still exist and are to be seized upon by those with the focus, skillset and vision to do so. Further updates will be provided as soon as practicable.’
Today’s news comes just eight days after ECR said its strategic funding will mostly be used to drive an accelerated development programme at its Blue Moon target in Victoria, Australia. A recent drilling campaign revealed 39.5m of gold mineralisation at the prospect.
As Brown put it at the time: ‘The gold mineralisation identified at Blue Moon and announced on Friday 6th July 2018 is a priority target for ECR, and as such, the company intends to pursue further work on this target immediately.’
In today’s update, ECR said that the details of its accelerated development programme for Blue Moon will be released to market shortly – subject to certain commercially sensitive matters.