Altona Energy granted exploration licence for Nankoma Rare Earths Project
Altona Energy (AQSE: ANR.PL) said that Leadway Group has been granted a three year Exploration Licence for its tenement EL00115, known as the Nankoma Rare Earths Project.
The Nankoma Rare Earths mining project covers an area of 67.5 km2 and is located around 50 km east of Jinja, which lies 130 km east of Kampala in South-Eastern Uganda.
The mining exploration company which focuses on Rare Earth Element ("REE") mining projects in Eastern Africa signed Heads of Agreement with Leadway Group in September 2020 to acquire an initial 51% interest in the company which will then increase to 70%.
Altona expects to complete its acquisition on or around the end of November, on successful completion of the Company's current round of funding which will raise up to £0.5m.
Altona said its rationale for the acquisition is based on the close proximity of the tenement to ASX-listed Ionic Rare Earth’s (IonicRE) REE exploration project, which lies immediately to the north-west of the Nankoma tenement and has a similar geology and geomorphology.
IonicRE reported a mineral resource estimate of 78.6 Mt @ 840 parts per million total rare earth oxide on its Makuutu Central Zone in June, which it is currently extending to the east.
IonicRE is currently expanding exploration drilling eastwards and has recently concluded a 68-hole drill programme on the tenement directly north of Nankoma, with analysis pending.
‘Crucially,’ Altona said, ‘Ionic reported high levels of Critical Rare Earth Oxides ("CREO"), at 310 ppm including elements, Neodymium and Praseodymium, two of the REEs which Altona is focused on extracting, due to their demand in many technology and green industries.’
Altona will now embark on drilling target generation using Uganda's airborne geophysical survey datasets as well as Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and multi-spectral satellite imagery, and ground proofing, including preliminary assaying and leach tests).
The firm said that scout drilling of the targets will involve ‘about 20 PQ3/HQ3 diamond drilling holes as well as first pass metallurgical testing.’ This work will commence upon a successful fundraiser which is currently in progress on crowdfunding platform, NR Private Market.
“This new deal with Leadway Group for the potential acquisition of the Nankoma project marks the entry of Altona in a nascent Ionic Clay REE play in a stable African jurisdiction with an exciting geology,” said Cedric Simonet, Consultant Geologist of Altona Energy.
He added, “The envisaged geological model is straightforward and well understood from work done by Ionic RE in the neighbouring licences, supporting a short exploration and development timeline.”
Shares in Altona Energy have traded consistently over the past three months to close on Wednesday afternoon trading at 9.50p.
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