Soil Sampling Within Historic Reserve In Victoria
ECR Minerals plc (AIM: ECR) has obtained promising results from recent soil sampling undertaken within the Historic Reserve #3 (HR3) Bailieston in Victoria, Australia and 100%-owned by ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd (MGA).
“I am delighted to announce further positive exploration news, this time from the implementation of a soil sampling programme utilising an innovative exploration methodology at HR3 that has revealed particularly high gold grades in soils and therefore identified a new target for drilling,” CEO, Craig Brown, said.
“The significance of these findings means we have now submitted a request for consent to undertake additional exploration drilling at the location, which is over and above initial planned drill holes in the area.
“As the momentum of our two rig drill programmes continues to build, additional findings such as those announced today further demonstrate the geological prospectivity of our licence areas. I look forward to providing further updates as material exploration data is received and reviewed by the company.”
The soil sampling has revealed high gold anomalies (up to 3.75 g/t Au) along with spatially associated antimony which is thought to be from the mineral stibnite which forms a close association with gold mineralisation.
A total of 720 B-horizon soil samples were taken across the central and eastern part of the Bailieston Historic Reserve # 3 (HR3) between February and March 2021.
The samples were tested by portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) for anomalous pathfinder elements for gold and a selected sub-set of 229 samples have been sent for trace element analysis (TL) for Au, Ag, As, Sb, Zn, Cu and Pb.
Results of this work show a strong spatial relationship between Au (gold), Sb (antimony) and to a lesser extent As (arsenic). Plotting of spatial Au-Sb elemental maps reveals trends which may correspond to the weathering of high-grade gold shoots under shallow cover.
Field mapping shows sub-cropping quartz with little to no historical workings associated with these anomalies. Plans have been submitted for approval to drill along strike to test these quartz reefs at depth.
Soils grids were designed over known and the possible strike extensions of gold-bearing quartz reefs. A 10m x 10m spaced grid was chosen as it is known that narrow high-grade gold reefs will erode over a small spatial area into the adjacent soil.
Metal detector prospectors in central Victoria know this phenomenon creating what are known as ‘patches’ and often contain visible coarse gold. Soils have been taken from the B-horizon, often at the gravel-clay interface at a depth around 10cm. This is where the gravels have not transported too far from their source rocks.
Soils located within gullies and adjacent mullock dumps were removed due to contamination. All soils were sieved on site to < 2mm and bagged, producing a sample around 300g in weight. A total of 720 samples have been taken to date.
All soils were systematically analysed in-house using ECR’s owned Olympus pXRF. Analysis is undertaken using three sequential beams with a 15 second count attributing to each beam. Results are evaluated for traditional pathfinder elements such as As, Ag, Pb, Zn, Cu and Sb.
Soil with moderate arsenic content (generally > 40 ppm) and soils spatially close to extensions to known reef lines were selected for further trace elemental analysis for Au, Ag, As, Pb, Zn, Cu and Sb. A total of 229 sub-samples have been selected and sent to ALS laboratories, Adelaide, South Australia. Method Au-TL44/ME-ICP44 was chosen for analysis.
Thirteen samples returned gold values above 0.1 g/t Au. Silver, Copper, lead and Zinc results are low within the soils.
Arsenic is traditionally used as a pathfinder element for gold mineralisation and occurs at moderate levels within soils at HR3 and is fairly distributed which will mask blind gold deposits.
Antimony (Sb) results are variable with high results correlating spatially with high gold assays.
Rock chips taken during 2018 along strike of the main soil anomaly showed a visible speck of coarse gold. Assays for these rock chips were analysed using a small charge fire assay resulting in variable results (up to 0.32 g/t Au) reflecting how coarse gold can be missed using traditional assay methods. Furthermore, non-executive director (Adam Jones) in February 2019 has found coarse gold by using a metal detector within the shallow soils in the vicinity of the reported soil anomalies.
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