El Abra Gold Prospect Update

(“ECR Minerals”, “ECR” or the “Company”)


London: 25 October 2012 - ECR Minerals plc announces results from the programme of geochemical sampling completed at its 100% owned El Abra gold prospect in La Rioja Province, Argentina during September 2012.

The primary objective of the programme was to take advantage of historical underground workings at El Abra in order to sample gold mineralised mesothermal quartz vein structures at depth and generate, at relatively low cost, additional data for the further assessment of the prospect’s exploration and development potential. In particular, the Company sought to confirm whether a programme of bulk sampling, or small scale test mining, would be appropriate at El Abra.

A total of 87 samples of vein material were collected. Some 55 of these were underground channel samples and 32 were surface grab and channel samples. All the samples were subjected to fire assay at an accredited laboratory. Assay results ranged from less than 1 g/t Au to as high as 69.1 g/t Au. A table of all assays exceeding 1 g/t Au is presented in Schedule A below.

Although some high grades were recorded, the results of the programme, in combination with data from previous sampling and drilling, are inconclusive. Further exploration will be necessary to acquire a complete understanding of the complexities of the mineralisation at El Abra. In particular, given the irregular and discontinuous nature of the veins and erratic grade distribution, it will be difficult to calculate a resource at El Abra without bulk sampling of the vein to fully understand its grade and potential.

The underground mapping and sampling completed indicates that El Abra is characterised by complex vein structures where quartz material is intermixed with other vein related but non-mineralised material. The effect of the non-mineralised material is to reduce vein continuity whilst increasing complexity of vein distribution and in any mining operation would result in dilution and lower overall grade.

Two samples from El Abra, one from underground (EAUG12050) and one from surface (EA120010), were also submitted for screen fire assay. Respectively, grades of 27.8 g/t Au and 31.9 g/t Au were returned, with 69% and 64% of the gold reporting to the coarse fraction. The screen fire assays indicate that a significant percentage of gold at El Abra occurs as coarse flecks and confirm that large sample sizes and specific methodology would be required to provide the most representative assay results. While it would have been preferable (but not practical) to analyse all samples by screen fire assay due to the presence of coarse gold, it is considered that overall the samples obtained provide, as analysed, a valuable overview of the vein system.

In addition to the El Abra prospect, numerous small, high grade gold prospects have (as previously notified) been identified at Sierra de las Minas. These have undergone varying degrees of appraisal by ECR and some high grade assay results obtained from the Maestro Agüero prospect, as part of the September sampling programme, are disclosed in Schedule A. Additional exploration may be justified at Maestro Agüero and at a number of other prospects.

ECR is continuing to analyse the results of the September sampling programme and is considering the most appropriate next step with regard to El Abra and other parts of the Sierra de las Minas project area. A further update will be provided in due course.

About ECR Minerals plc

ECR is a mineral development company with 100% ownership of the Sierra de las Minas gold project in La Rioja Province, Argentina, as detailed above

The Company holds a 21% fully diluted stake in THEMAC Resources Group Ltd (“THEMAC”), which is focused on the redevelopment of the Copper Flat copper-molybdenum-gold-silver porphyry deposit in New Mexico, USA. THEMAC is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange with the symbol MAC.

In addition to its stake in THEMAC, the Company has shareholdings in West Wits Mining Ltd (ASX: WWI) and Paniai Gold Ltd (unquoted), both of which have interests in the Derewo River alluvial gold mining and exploration project in Papua, Indonesia.

For further information please contact:

ECR Minerals plc

Patrick Harford, Managing Director Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 1010
Stephen Clayson, Director & Chief Financial Officer

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Daniel Stewart & Company plc

Paul Shackleton/David Hart Tel: +44 (0)20 7776 6550

The contents of this announcement have been reviewed by Richard Watts B.Eng. Mining, Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, a director of the Company with more than 40 years of experience in the mining industry.


Au: gold; g/t: grams per tonne; m: metre; t: tonnes

Schedule A

Assay results from the sampling programme at El Abra, September 2012

Sample ID & Location Au g/t
El Abra - underground
EAUG12009 2.4
EAUG12020 2.1
EAUG12023 1.4
EAUG12024 2.7
EAUG12025 1.1
EAUG12026 2.2
EAUG12028 4.0
EAUG12034 2.1
EAUG12043 2.3
EAUG12046 2.9
EAUG12047 6.4
EAUG12050 33.7
Maestro Agüero - underground
MAUG12056 9.1
MAUG12058 2.6
El Abra - surface
EA120001 2.7
EA120007 9.6
EA120008 4.7
EA120010 34.5
EA120011 1.3
EA120012 1.5
EA120013 9.4
EA120016 8.8
EA120017 22.4
EA120023 60.5
EA120030 2.6
Maestro Agüero - surface
MA120033 4.2
MA120040 11.3
MA120041 20.5
Hugo/SLM8 - surface
Corral - surface
MUESTR12 69.1