THEMAC Resources Group (CVE:MAC) on the Copper Flat Copper-molybdenum-gold-silver project in New Mexico.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR, OTC:MTGDY) reported highly encouraging first results from a diamond drilling campaign undertaken by associate THEMAC Resources Group (CVE:MAC) on the Copper Flat Copper-molybdenum-gold-silver project in New Mexico.

Drilling there this year was targeted to confirm existing grades, step out laterally and to depth to test for potential to increase the resources of the deposit, and confirm and expand high grade mineralised areas.

The results are from 8 of 16 completed diamond core holes announced by THEMAC. They form part of a programme of 47 holes, and drilling is to continue in 2012.

ECR said the initial set shows 102 intervals grading greater than or equal to 0.65 percent copper, with a high of 2.26 percent copper, and 34 gold intercepts with values of greater than or equal to 300 parts per billion gold, or 0.3 grams per tonne, with a high of 1,050 ppb gold, or 1.05 g/t.

The data will be incorporated into the Copper Flat project prefeasibility study which is on track to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

ECR relayed a project update by its associate in which it holds approximately 19 percent.

THEMAC holds a 100 percent ownership interest in the Copper Flat project having purchased an exclusive option over the project from ECR in March 2011 and completed the exercise of this option in May 2011.

ECR managing director Patrick Harford said: These initial results from drilling by THEMAC at Copper Flat are highly encouraging, with all holes exhibiting average grades from surface to total depth that are of economic interest.

Of the 8 holes for which results were reported, all 8 returned average copper grades from surface to total depth that are significantly higher than the cut-off grade of 0.12% copper at which Copper Flat's NI43-101 resources have been estimated and in 4 holes the average copper grade from surface to total depth substantially exceeds the deposit's present indicated resource grade of 0.303% copper. Moreover, a number of high grade intervals were reported at shallow depth, he added.

The resource estimate of Copper Flat, upgraded last year, was for 107 million tonnes graded at an average of 0.3 percent copper classified as indicated resources, with an additional 46 million tonnes graded at an average of 0.24 percent copper classified as inferred resources.

Old Park Lane Capital analyst Phil Swinfen says ECR shares are cheap. In a note to clients today he estimates the group's net asset value at 2.8p a share.

On AIM the shares currently trade at 1.125p each. Swinfen views ECR as a firm 'buy' at these levels.

We view the latest drill results from Copper Flat as highly compelling and hold our view that THEMAC is a solid investment for ECR, the analyst said.

Shayne Heffernan

Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.