US OTC: MTGDY
ECR MINERALS plc
(“ECR Minerals”, “ECR”, the “Company” or the “Group”)
LONDON: 26 AUGUST 2016 - The directors of ECR Minerals plc (the “Board” or the “Directors”) provide the following update regarding the Danglay (formerly Itogon) gold project in the Philippines.
ECR has today given notice to terminate the Company’s Earn-in Option in respect of the Danglay project. To date, the Company has earned a 25% interest in the project, irrespective of the termination of the Earn-in Option.
In 2013, the Company entered into an Earn-in and Joint Venture Agreement (the “Agreement”) in respect of the project with Tiger International Resources, Inc. (“Tiger International”) and Cordillera Tiger Gold Resources, Inc. (“Cordillera Tiger”). The original terms of the Agreement were announced by ECR on 29 April 2013, with a further announcement on 20 October 2015 in respect of certain subsequent amendments to the Agreement. Capitalised terms in this announcement have the meanings ascribed to them in the Company’s announcement dated 29 April 2013, unless otherwise defined herein.
As operator of the project under the Agreement, ECR implemented significant exploration programmes at Danglay in 2014 and 2015, leading to the announcement in 2015 of an initial Inferred Mineral Resource and a promising target for further exploration, both of which were reported in accordance with Canadian NI43-101 and supported by an NI43-101 technical report which is available for download from the Company’s website.
A new government took office in the Philippines on 30 June 2016. Since then, the new administration has not adopted a supportive stance towards the mining industry, and in view of this, the Directors believe the termination of the Earn-in Option is appropriate. However, in accordance with the Agreement, the Company has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay project, and it is anticipated this interest will be in the form of a 25% shareholding in Cordillera Tiger.
Further to the Company’s announcement dated 13 June 2016, Cordillera Tiger continues to await issuance of the final renewed Exploration Permit (the “EP”) comprising the Danglay project. Within 15 days of receiving the renewed EP, Cordillera Tiger will be required to submit various documents to the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (“MGB”) in the Philippines and provide proof of its financial capability in respect of the exploration and environmental work plans submitted to the MGB in connection with the EP renewal. The budget for the implementation of these plans amounts to the equivalent of £270,000 over the two-year term of the EP.
As a result of the termination of the Earn-in Option, ECR is no longer the operator of the Danglay project, and has no further financial obligations in respect of the project. Discussions with Tiger International regarding the future of the project, including funding for any further exploration activities by Tiger International or parties other than ECR, have been initiated.
Stephen Clayson has been a director of Cordillera Tiger since 2007 (six years prior to the involvement of ECR in the Danglay project), and expects to remain a director of Cordillera Tiger for the foreseeable future. Consequently, Stephen Clayson has abstained from the ECR Board decision to terminate the Earn-in Option. The Board confirms that further to the Company’s announcement dated 3 August 2016, Stephen Clayson will cease to be a director and CEO of ECR with effect from 31 August 2016.
ECR is a mineral exploration and development company. ECR’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia (MGA) has agreed to acquire 100% ownership of the Avoca and Bailieston gold projects in Victoria, Australia. Mercator Gold Australia is estimated to have tax losses of approximately AUD 66M as at 30 June 2015, which may be available, subject to certain conditions (as described in ECR’s announcement dated 4 December 2014), to reduce MGA’s future taxable profits. This is considered particularly significant in view of an opportunity which may exist at Avoca to establish relatively near term gold production from the reprocessing of historical mine dumps, with the potential for sale of gravel and sand by-products. A competent person’s report in relation to the Avoca and Bailieston projects is available for download from ECR’s website.
ECR has earned a 25% interest in the Danglay epithermal gold project in the Philippines. Danglay is an advanced exploration project located in a prolific gold and copper mining district in the north of the Philippines. An NI43-101 technical report was completed in respect of the Danglay project in December 2015, and is available for download from ECR’s website.
ECR’s wholly owned subsidiary Ochre Mining has a 100% interest in the SLM gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina. Exploration at SLM has focused on identifying small tonnage mesothermal gold deposits which may be suitable for relatively near term production.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
|ECR Minerals plc|
|William (Bill) Howell, Non-Executive Chairman||Tel:||+44 (0)20 7929 1010|
|Stephen Clayson, Director & CEO|
|Craig Brown, Finance Director|
|Richard (Dick) Watts, Technical Director|
|Cairn Financial Advisers LLP|
|Nominated Adviser||Tel:||+44 (0)20 7148 7900|
|Emma Earl/Jo Turner|
|Vicarage Capital Ltd|
|Broker||Tel:||+44 (0)20 3651 2910|
|Rupert Williams/Jeremy Woodgate|
|Public Relations||Tel:||+44 (0)20 7138 3204|
|Tim Blythe/Camilla Horsfall|
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This announcement may include forward looking statements. Such statements may be subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and therefore actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Any forward looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date hereof (unless stated otherwise) and, except as may be required by applicable laws or regulations (including the AIM Rules for Companies), the Company disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward looking statements as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.