The exploration firm said a contract had been signed for 4,000m-6,000m of drilling in the state by its subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia (MGA).
The first round of drilling, expected to begin this week, will be at the firm’s Creswick gold project and target multiple quartz vein orientations identified within the Dimocks Main Shale which extends over a 15km trend, approximately 7km of which is covered by MGA’s granted exploration licence and exploration licence applications.
Following this, the drilling rig would then move to the Blue Moon prospect at ECR’s Bailieston gold project to follow-up a significant near surface gold intercept and evidence of a near-surface mineralised gold system announced in July 2018.
The drill target at Blue Moon is sandstone which has been heavily weathered near the surface, but may host higher grade gold mineralisation, including disseminated sulphides, at deeper levels, the company said.
Craig Brown, chief executive of ECR, said the drilling programme was one of the largest the company had undertaken in recent times, with the aim of discovering “a multi-million-ounce gold deposit in Australia and based on the significant technical work undertaken to date”.
Brown added that the drilling would be funded from existing cash resources and that the company would be entitled to claim back a proportion of the costs under government drilling subsidies.
In total, the programme is expected to amount to less than 20% of ECR’s existing cash resources.
Shares were up 6.5% at 0.8p.