London, 16 Aug (AIM) – Shares in the London-based mining company Altona Rare Earths PLC jumped by over eleven per cent on Wednesday morning, following the announcement of positive test drilling results from its Rare Earth Elements project at Monte Muambe in Mozambique.
Monte Muambe is an extinct volcano located to the east of Moatize in Tete province.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company highlighted the results from Target 4 which revealed a record in terms of length and grade. In addition, high-grade ore was confirmed at Target 3 which has “the potential to add to Monte Muambe’s resource base in the next phase of reporting”.
These results are part of an ongoing process to produce a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) which will then provide the basis for raising funds from investors to push the project towards construction and production. In the statement, Altona confirmed that the work for the MRE is on schedule with a site visit by geologist Robert Barnett between 7 and 10 August.
According to Altona’s chief executive, Cedric Simonet, “the record high-grade intercept drilled at Target 4, as well as the confirmed presence of high-grade ore at Target 3 are both highly positive discoveries, which show that Monte Muambe still has a lot of resource building potential in store”.
He added, “While we continue to focus on our immediate deliverables, namely the MRE and the Scoping Study, additional exploration work is now being planned for Target 3. We are also planning new exploration work on other, as yet-unexplored targets which were identified from the soil sampling survey we conducted last year”.
So far, the company has drilled over 7,800 metres to support its maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) Mineral Resource Statement which will be published in the Third Quarter of 2023. This is an international reporting standard that is used by investors for evaluating the potential value of a project.
Rare Earth Elements are a group of seventeen metals that are used in a wide array of products including electric vehicles, wind turbines, mobile phone and laptop screens, alloys, ceramics, and weapon systems.
Seventy per cent of the world’s production of Rare Earth Elements comes from China, which has an even tighter grip on the minerals’ processing. For some Western strategists, this dominance in the supply chain is seen as a threat.
Altona has a twenty per cent stake in Monte Muambe Mining Limitada, which holds the rights to prospecting licence 7573L which covers the project area. This stake will rise to 51 per cent following the completion of the MRE and Scoping Study. Altona has an agreement with Ussokoti Investimentos Limitada to increase this stake to seventy per cent by meeting targets based on carrying out exploration and feasibility studies.