Altus Strategies Plc / Index: AIM / EPIC: ALS / Sector: Mining
20 September 2017
Altus Strategies Plc
(“Altus” or the “Company”)
Altus Strategies Plc (AIM: ALS), the Africa focused exploration project generator, announces its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2017.
- Admission to AIM and Placing and Subscription raising £1.1m before expenses
- Twelve projects diversified across seven commodities and four countries with two JVs
- Exploration programmes in Cameroon, Liberia, Morocco and Ethiopia
- Company actively assessing strategic licence application and acquisition opportunities
"I am pleased to report on a strong period of growth for the Company, one which culminated after the period, in the listing of our shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Having operated as a private company for close to a decade, our decision to list reflects the Board’s positive belief in the outlook for the resource cycle and anticipated rising industry demand for new mineral discoveries, such as those we are making at Altus.
As a project generator focused on Africa, we embrace the cyclical nature of the mining sector. The Company’s aim is to create significant value for our shareholders while reducing and diversifying their risk exposure. We seek to make multiple discoveries using one cost base and time efficient management overhead. We then undertake joint venture partnerships with industry groups early on, to finance the higher risk stages of exploration, such as drilling. Our strategy also inherently avoids management partiality towards any one particular project. In so doing we look to franchise the downside risks, while retaining a significant share of the upside. If a project is successful, we can elect to co-fund or dilute as it progresses through feasibility studies and mine development. We also have the flexibility to consider selling some or all of our discoveries for cash, equity, future production royalties or a mix of these.
In accordance with our counter cyclical strategy, Altus has used the industry downturn which started in 2011 to build a significant portfolio of discoveries. This currently comprises twelve projects diversified across seven commodities, four countries and encompasses two joint venture partners. We have also used the downturn to build a strong and dedicated technical team with the infrastructure required to continue our strong growth trajectory. As such we are exploring several strategic projects, while assessing new licence applications in addition to acquisition opportunities to feed into our project generation pipeline.
During the same period since 2011, global exploration budgets and discoveries fell dramatically as capital markets were reluctant to finance exploration risk. Mining companies prioritised efficiency savings and paying down debts before exploring for new mines. We now believe the resource cycle is turning upward, as supply side concerns start to grow amid an environment of sustained global growth. A resilient China alongside growing infrastructure spending across developed and emerging markets is proving supportive to higher base metal prices. Meanwhile the pervasive negative real interest rate and loose monetary policies required to inflate away excessive national debt burdens, are putting downward pressure on currencies, including the dollar, which is providing further support to gold and other hard assets.
Our expectation is for equity and debt markets to become increasingly supportive of mining companies as their revenues and in turn valuations rise. A fundamental challenge for mining companies will be how to replenish and grow their resources base, after so many years of underinvestment. We expect that process to be highly competitive not just between mining companies, but also with private equity and other specialist investors seeking to participate in the cycle. In such a scenario it follows that the value of quality discoveries is set to rise, as they become targets for acquisitions and joint ventures.
The Board believe that the outlook for the exploration sector is positive and Altus is actively generating the projects which have the potential to become the mines of tomorrow.
I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the team at Altus for their achievements in the year to date. Just as important I seize this opportunity to extend the Board’s appreciation to our existing and new shareholders for sharing our vision with their continued support. We have a very active period ahead and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our progress.”
The technical disclosure in this regulatory announcement has been read and approved by Steven Poulton, Chief Executive of Altus. A graduate of the University of Southampton in Geology (Hons), he also holds a Master's degree from the Camborne School of Mines (Exeter University) in Mining Geology. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. He has over 18 years of experience in mineral exploration and is a Qualified Person under the AIM rules.
Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure
Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.
For further information you are invited to visit the Company’s website www.altus-strategies.com or contact:
Altus Strategies Plc
Steven Poulton, Chief Executive
Matthew Grainger, Executive Director
Greg Owen, VP Corporate Development
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 511 767
SP Angel (Nominated Adviser)
Ewan Leggat / Richard Morrison / Soltan Tagiev
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470
SP Angel (Joint Broker)
Elizabeth Johnson / Richard Parlons
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0471
Beaufort Securities (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7382 8300
Blytheweigh (Financial PR)
Tim Blythe / Camilla Horsfall / Nick Elwes
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204
Notes to editors:
About Altus Strategies Plc
Altus is a diversified and Africa focused project generator in the natural resource sector. Through our subsidiaries we discover new projects and attract third party capital to fund their growth, development and ultimately exit optionality. This strategy enables Altus to remain focused on the acquisition of new opportunities to be fed into the project generation cycle and aims to minimise shareholder dilution. Our business model is designed to create a growing portfolio of well managed and high growth potential projects which is diversified by commodity and by country. We aim to position our shareholders at the vanguard of value creation, but with significantly reduced risks traditionally associated with investments in the mineral exploration sector.
The following is a summary of the Company’s key projects:
Cameroon - Gold
The Company holds the 189km2 Laboum gold exploration licence in northern Cameroon through its 99% owned subsidiary Auramin Ltd. At Laboum an approximately 18km and 5km wide long gold-bearing shear zone has been discovered. High resolution ground geophysics and a concurrent gold in soil survey are defining priority targets for a systematic trenching programme. The Laboum licence hosts a number of artisanal gold mining sites and rock chips up to 6.86 g/t Au have been returned from sheared meta-sediments.
Morocco - Copper
The Company holds the 60km2 Agdz copper-silver exploration licence in central Morocco through its 100% owned subsidiary Aterian Resources Ltd. Five prospects have been defined to date, the best of which retuned grades up to 8% Cu, 448 g/t Ag and 3.74 g/t Au. The project is located close to a number of operating mines, notably the recently commissioned Bouskour Cu-Ag mine located 14km NE of Agdz.
Ethiopia - Copper
The Company holds the 322km2 Tigray-Afar and Negash copper-silver exploration licences (‘Tigray-Afar’) in northern Ethiopia through its 100% owned subsidiary Altau Resources Ltd. Tigray-Afar is subject to a memorandum of agreement with Japan Oil Gas and Metals Corporation and comprises manto style copper-silver mineralisation, forming lenses, pipes or veins.
Cameroon - Bauxite
The Company holds the 601km2 Birsok & Mandoum bauxite exploration licences in central Cameroon through its 97.3% owned subsidiary Aluvance Ltd. The Birsok & Mandoum licences are subject to a joint venture agreement with ASX-listed Canyon Resources Ltd. The project is within 10km of an operating rail line to the port of Douala on the Atlantic Ocean.
Liberia - Gold
The Company holds the 639.6km2 Bella Yella gold exploration licence in western Liberia through its 99% owned subsidiary Auramin Ltd. At Bella Yella a 7.5km NE-SW striking gold in soil anomaly has been defined. A number of artisanal gold workings have been discovered, from which rock chip assay results have returned grades up to 233 g/t Au.
Cameroon - Iron Ore
The Company holds the 400km2 Bikoula & Ndjele iron ore exploration licences in southern Cameroon through its 97.3% owned subsidiary Aluvance Ltd. An independent (JORC 2012 compliant), inferred mineral resource estimate comprising 46Mt @ 44% Fe has been completed. The resource estimate is from less than 25% of the 17km long target as identified from airborne geophysics.
Morocco - Other
The Company holds 226km2 across five exploration licence throughout Morocco through its 100% owned subsidiary Aterian Resources Ltd. The licences areas are prospective for zinc, lead, copper, tin, tungsten and gold. Grades from these licences include 8.15% Pb, 4.48% Zn, 9.18% Cu and 9.61 g/t Au.
Glossary of Terms
The following is a glossary of technical terms:
"Au" means gold
"Ag" means silver
"Cu" means copper
“Fe” means iron
“Pb” mean lead
"g/t" means grams per tonne
"m" means metres
"Ma" means million years ago
“Zn” means zinc
Altus Strategies plc
Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements for the six months ended 30 June 2017
Condensed consolidated statement of comprehensive income
Condensed consolidated statement of financial position
Condensed statement of changes in shareholders’ equity
Condensed consolidated statement of cash flows
Notes to the Financial Statements
1. General information
The principal activity of the Company and its subsidiaries (together ‘the Group’) is the exploration and development of precious and base metal deposits in Africa. There is no seasonality or cyclicality of the Group’s operations.
The Company’s shares are listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM). The Company is incorporated and domiciled in the United Kingdom. The address of its registered office is 14 Station Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7LL.
2. Basis of preparation
The condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared using accounting policies consistent with International Financial Reporting Standards (‘IFRS’). The condensed interim financial statements should be read in conjunction with the annual financial statements of Altus Strategies Limited for the year ended 31 December 2016, which have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union.
The condensed consolidated interim financial statements set out above do not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of the Companies Act 2006. They have been prepared on a going concern basis in accordance with the recognition and measurement criteria of IFRS as adopted by the European Union. Statutory financial statements for Altus Strategies Limited for the year ended 31 December 2016 were approved by the Board of Directors on 7 April 2017 and delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The report of the auditors on those financial statements was unqualified.
On 14 June 2017, the Company entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Altus Strategies Limited from the former shareholders of Altus Strategies Limited in consideration for the issue of 96,580,812 new Ordinary shares. The Group reorganisation did not result in a change of control and is therefore excluded from the scope of IFRS 3 ‘Business combinations’. In the condensed consolidated interim financial statements the assets and liabilities of Altus Strategies Limited are included at their pre-combination carrying amount without any fair value uplift. The reorganisation only changes the structure of the Group and in substance does not impact on the reporting of the Group. Any difference between the cost of the transaction and the carrying value of the net assets is recorded in equity.
The interim financial information of the Company have not been audited or reviewed by the Company’s auditor, Critchleys LLP.
The Directors, having made appropriate enquiries, consider that adequate resources exist for the Group to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and that, therefore, it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the period ended 30 June 2017.
Risks and uncertainties
The Board continuously assesses and monitors the key risks of the business. The key risks that could affect the Group’s medium term performance and the factors that mitigate those risks have not substantially changed from those set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2016 for Altus Strategies Limited, a copy of which is available on the Company’s website. The key financial risks are liquidity risk, foreign exchange risk, credit risk, price risk and interest rate risk.
Critical accounting estimates
The preparation of condensed consolidated interim financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the end of the reporting period. Significant items subject to such estimates are set out in note 1 of the 2016 Annual Report and Financial Statements for Altus Strategies Limited. The nature and amounts of such estimates have not changed significantly during the interim period.
3. Significant accounting policies
The condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention as modified by the revaluation of certain of the subsidiaries’ assets and liabilities to fair value for consolidation purposes.
The same accounting policies, presentation and methods of computation have been followed in these condensed consolidated interim financial statements as were applied in the preparation of the Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2016 for Altus Strategies Limited.
4. Intangible assets
Intangible assets comprise exploration and evaluation costs. Exploration and evaluation costs comprise internally generated and acquired assets.
No dividend has been declared or paid by the Company during the six months ended 30 June 2017 (2016: £nil).
6. Earnings per share
The calculation of the basic loss per share of (1.39) pence for the 6 months ended 30 June 2017 (30 June 2016 loss per share: (0.07) pence) is based on the loss attributable to the equity holders of the Company of £ (1,221,381) for the six month period ended 30 June 2017 (30 June 2016: £(58,530)) divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period of 87,610,639 (weighted average number of shares for the 6 months ended 30 June 2016: 83,616,880).
The basic and diluted loss per share is the same, as the effect of the exercise of share options would be to decrease the loss per share.
7. Related party transactions
The nature of related party transactions of the Group has not changed from those described in the Group’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.
8. Events after the reporting period
On August 10th 2017 the shares of the Company were listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. The Company simultaneously raised £1.11m before expenses through a placing of 11,100,000 new Ordinary shares of 1 pence each with existing and new institutional and sophisticated investors at a price of 10 pence per Ordinary share.
9. Approval of interim financial statements
These Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 19 September 2017.