Altona Rare Earths raises £1.25m to accelerate expansion
(ANR ) has raised £1.25 million through a ‘significantly’ oversubscribed placing which will enable the group to both accelerate and expand its activities in Africa.
The Aquis-listed rare earths mining company said demand for the placing has ‘significantly exceeded’ its expectations as it issued 8,842,820 new ordinary shares at an issue price of 14p per share, a 7% premium to the closing share price on Thursday afternoon.
CEO, Christian Taylor-Wilkinson, said the additional funds will enable Altona “to both accelerate and expand our activities, to find and develop valuable rare earth mining assets in Africa, of which we already have one underway and several others under consideration."
Altona started groundwork operations at its Monte Muambe Project in Northwest Mozambique on 31 August ahead of schedule. Today, it said exploration drilling is expected to commence before the end of September, in-line with its previously outlined strategy.
Earlier this year, the Company acquired up to 70% ownership in the Monte Muambe Rare Earths project, marking the business’ first asset in the rare earth elements mining sector.
Altona said it is also in the final phase of its application for London Stock Exchange listing, Standard segment and will provide a further update ‘when an admission date is known.’
Altona noted in its recent 1H21 results that it was looking to complete its proposed listing on London’s main market by the end of 3Q21 whereby it intends to raise funds upon listing to provide up to 18 months working capital, based on exploration work on two projects.
Altona said it believes this listing will bring “major advantages” to its acquisition programme and will enable it to benefit from the development of its rare earths mining projects.
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For the year to 30 June 2021, the company reported a pretax loss of £0.733m compared to £0.226m in FY20 which the Company said is a reflection of its new strategy of investments into rare earths projects in Africa as well as of the ongoing corporate costs of the Company.
By period-end, cash stood at £0.436m after Altona raised a total of £1.1m in FY21 through the completion of four placings; the first three were completed at a price of 6.5p and the last one, in June 2021, at a price of 12p, a 30% premium to the share price at the time.
Altona said the cash inflow will enable it to pursue its objective to become the owner of multiple rare earths mining projects while driving forward to attain a listing on the main market.
In June 2021, Altona told investors that it had initiated a new target generation programme across four countries - Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda - with the intention of enhancing its strategy of becoming a developer of multiple African rare earths mining projects.
Altona is operating within the rare earth metals sector, which is among the fastest growing mining industries, with technology metals amongst the most in-demand elements globally.
Altona’s focus lies in Africa where it believes the combination of opportunity, its expertise and network provide it with “the ingredients to take full advantage of this growing, global demand.”
Overall, Altona believes that rare earths mining companies in Africa could develop and start supplying technology metals efficiently to the world's green industries in under three years.
Altona said it believes this statistic is only likely to grow as the world moves towards being more environmentally conscious with more players starting to fulfil its "green" potential.
As a result, it believes it is now poised at the juncture of a significant opportunity within the rare earth metals sector which the group hopes to capitalise during this year and beyond.
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