Altus Strategies Plc / Index: AIM / EPIC: ALS / Sector: Mining
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES NOR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
22 January 2018
Altus Strategies Plc
(“Altus” or the “Company”)
Altus Strategies Plc (AIM: ALS), the Africa focused exploration project generator, announces results from its recently completed reconnaissance exploration programme at its 100% owned 412km2 Daro licence (“Daro” or the “Project”) located in the Tigray Regional State of northern Ethiopia.
- Potential for VMS discovery with a 2kg float sample returning 34.3% Cu and 0.54g/t Au
- Hard rock gold workings and copper bearing gossans defined at 2.5km long Teklil prospect
- Significant artisanal alluvial gold mining area covering approximately 900m x 500m
- Follow up stream sediment sampling programme across 165km2 of Daro now underway
Steven Poulton, Chief Executive of Altus, commented:
“A 2kg sample of gossanous float returning 34.3% copper and 0.54 g/t gold from our initial reconnaissance programme at Daro is highly encouraging. As is the presence of such extensive alluvial, as well as a number of hard rock, artisanal gold mining sites. Furthermore, the discovery of high grade copper mineralised gossans by our field team suggests that the local geology at Daro is prospective for VMS style orebodies. Regionally Daro is located in the ‘Nakfa Terrane’ which hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines, including Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Nevsun Resources Ltd (TSX: NSU) 190km north west of Daro, the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX-V: EAM) 35km west of Daro and the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 100km north of Daro.
“The speed of our initial discoveries at Daro is testimony to the efficiency and methodology of our exploration approach. In order to now further define the most prospective gold and copper primary targets, our field team have commenced a 165km2 stream sediment survey. We look forward to updating shareholders on the results from this programme in due course.”
The following figures have been prepared and relate to the disclosures in this announcement and are visible in the version of this announcement on the Company's website (www.altus-strategies.com) or in PDF format by following this link:
- Location of the Daro licence on the Arabian Nubian Shield is shown in Figure 1.
- Geology and structures of the Daro licence is shown in Figure 2.
- Overview of the Teklil gold-copper prospect is shown in Figure 3.
- Artisanal gold mining at the Teklil gold-copper prospect is shown in Figure 4.
- A selection of project photos is shown in Figure 5.
Phase 1 Reconnaissance Programme
The recent reconnaissance exploration programme at Daro has focused on identifying potential gold and copper mineralised Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (“VMS”) deposits within the licence. To guide the reconnaissance programme the Company first undertook a licence wide remote sensing programme, using satellite-borne imagery to generate a number of prospective targets for initial ground truthing.
The Teklil Gold-Copper Prospect
The reconnaissance programme has led to the discovery of the Teklil gold-copper prospect, a 2.5km long zone of interest that has been prospected and which remains open along strike. Teklil hosts a series of alluvial and hard rock gold workings which can be up to 4m deep, a few meters wide and up to 100m long. In addition in-situ gossans and gossanous float material have been observed discontinuously along the strike length of Teklil. Encouragingly a 2kg sample of gossanous float at Teklil returned a copper grade of 34.3% Cu and also contained 0.54g/t Au, 10g/t Ag and 374ppm Zn. The suite of metals from this sample is considered to be consistent with a potential Kuroko type or bimodal VMS system. Elsewhere at Teklil samples collected from in-situ gossan returned encouraging grades of 7.51% Cu, 3.09% Cu and 2.79% Cu as well as anomalous zinc (857 ppm) and cobalt (496 ppm).
Geological Setting of the Teklil Prospect
Daro hosts an ophiolite complex, being a major thrust-bound belt of mafic and ultramafic geological units which is up to 5.5km wide and extends along a NNE-SSW trend for approximately 21km. The Teklil prospect is considered to comprise a ‘high strain’ inlier of similarly trending metasedimentary rocks, which are up to 250m wide and have an interpreted strike length of approximately 2.5km to date. This zone spatially coincides with a thrust zone previously mapped by the Ethiopian Geological Survey. The highly foliated metasiltstones and quartzites at Teklil are surrounded by a suite of ophiolitic units, including deformed pillow lavas and altered metabasites, with brecciated stockworks also being found in the vicinity.
In addition to Cu-Au-Co-Zn mineralisation discovered at the Teklil prospect, a reconnaissance grab sample collected from an artisanal working located approximately 7km to the north and along strike of Teklil returned 81.6g/t Ag and 1.2% Pb with 0.874g/t Au. Approximately 4.5km northwest of the Teklil prospect the Company has identified an extensive area of current and historic intensive artisanal alluvial gold mining within the Ilawit river valley. The workings cover an area of approximately 900m by 500m and typically comprise densely spaced but discrete oval pits (typically 1-3 m wide and dug to a similar depth). Based on the drainage analysis undertaken by the Company it is considered highly likely that the primary source for the gold is located within the Daro licence area. Separately and approximately 4km southwest of Teklil, a number of zones of copper bearing metasiltstone (up to 20m wide) have been identified by the Altus field team. Assay results from this prospect area are currently pending.
Next Phase of Exploration: Stream Sediment Survey
A comprehensive stream sediment sampling programme is now underway, with 137 samples planned to be collected from the primary catchments across 165km2 of the Daro licence. The objective of this programme is to establish which tributaries potentially host primary gold and / or copper mineralisation. The programme is expected to be completed by the end of February.
Figure 1: Location of the Daro licence on the Arabian Nubian Shield, Northern Ethiopia
Figure 2: Geology and structures of the Daro licence
Figure 3: Overview of the Teklil gold-copper prospect
Figure 4: Artisanal gold mining at the Teklil gold-copper prospect
Figure 5: A selection of project photos
Photo A: Example of a gossanous outcrop (looking north)
Photo B: 2kg gossan sample yielding 34.3% Cu and 0.54 g/Au, from Teklil prospect
Photo C: Altus field team undertaking mapping and sampling
Photo D: Alluvial gold pits within the Ilawit valley covering an area of 900m by 500m
Daro Project: Location
The Daro exploration licence is held by Altau Resources Ltd, the Company’s 100% owned Ethiopia focused subsidiary. The licence is located in northern Ethiopia, 95km west of the Company’s Tigray-Afar Cu-Ag project, 100km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 570km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Mekele has a regional airport and year-round access to the licence area is provided by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads.
Daro Project: Geological setting
The Daro licence is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa Terrane, at a junction between two major tectonic blocks and comprises a series of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks, affected by thrusting and intrusion of the Rama granite. A band of mafic to ultramafic rocks bisects the licence from southwest to northeast, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of ancient oceanic crust and seafloor sediments. Historical data compilation of Daro, undertaken by the French governmental Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, has defined a number of marker lithologies and structures that are considered prospective for VMS deposits. These include the presence of bimodal volcanics and associated sediments, mafic and ultramafic lithologies which conform to an ophiolitic sequence, as well as the presence of extensive chert horizons.
The Nakfa Terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. This includes Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Nevsun Resources Ltd (TSX: NSU) 190km north west of Daro, the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX-V:EAM) 35km west of Daro and the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 100km north of Daro.
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 and National Instrument 43-101 under the rules of the TSX.
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
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:
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.
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. In addition close to 1km of quartz veins have 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 grab samples have returned grades up to 24.50 g/t Au from quartz veins and 6.86 g/t Au from the sheared metasedimentary rocks respectively.
Ethiopia - Copper and Gold
The Company holds the 322km2 Tigray-Afar and Negash copper-silver-gold exploration in northern Ethiopia through its 100% owned subsidiary Altau Resources Ltd and 97.3% owned subsidiary Aluvance Ltd respectively. Four distinct prospects have been identified to date, returning grades of up to 22 % Cu and 102 g/t Ag from surface sampling. Channel results have include 28m at 0.75% Cu, 31m at 0.50% Cu, 4m at 3.22% Cu & 6m at 1.46% Cu and drilling has returned grades of up to 1.14% Cu and 10.2 g/t Ag over widths up to 15.5m. The Company also holds the 412km2 Daro exploration licence, located in northern Ethiopia, which targets VMS style copper-gold deposits. Daro hosts a significant number of alluvial and hard rock artisanal gold mines while a 2kg float sample of gossanous rock has returned 34.3% Cu.
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 and 466km2 Zolowo gold exploration licences in north western Liberia through its 99% owned subsidiary Auramin Ltd. Both licences target targeting Archaean greenstone-hosted gold deposits. 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. Zolowo hosts a 33km long greenstone belt, a number of drainages from which host significant artisanal alluvial workings.
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. The project hosts an independent (JORC 2012 compliant), inferred mineral resource estimate comprising 46Mt @ 44% Fe completed by Coffey Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd in a report entitled “Mineral Resource Estimation and Classification of the Bikoula Iron Ore Project in Cameroon”. The resource estimate is from less than 25% of the 17km long target as identified from airborne geophysics.
Morocco - Other
The Company holds a further 226km2 across five exploration licence across 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:
“Archaean” means an early part of geological time dating from <4,000 to 2,500 million years ago
“Artisanal” means local people conducting mining, often with rudimentary equipment
"Au" means gold
“Assay” or “Assay results” means the analysis of minerals, rocks and mine products to determine and quantify their constituent parts
"Ag" means silver
"Cu" means copper
“Fe” means iron
“Pb” mean lead
"g/t" means grams per tonne
“Grade(s)” means the quantity of ore or metal in a specified quantity of rock
"m" means metres
"Ma" means million years ago
“Moz” means millions of ounces
“Outcrop” means a visible exposure of rock that is in-situ and has no covering of soil or vegetation
“Shear zone” means a zone in which rocks have been deformed by lateral movement along parallel planes
“Quartz Vein” means a fracture which has been filled by quartz and other minerals which have crystallised from mineralised fluids
“Zn” means zinc