Altona Rare Earths raises a further £0.259m to accelerate its growth plan
(ANR ) announced that it has raised a further £0.259m through the issue of 3,977,790 new ordinary shares at 6.5p each in order to accelerate the group’s business plan.
The funds, which add to Altona’s previously completed £0.523m raise in January, will be used to complete two rare earth acquisitions as well as subsequent initial exploration work.
Today’s proceeds from the placing will also allow the Company to commence the initial exploration on these two new mining projects ahead of its expected London Stock Exchange ("LSE") listing, ‘in order to provide enhanced levels of data on the estimated resource.’
Commenting on the January placing, CEO of Altona, Christian Taylor-Wilkinson, informed investors that the new funds would enable Altona to commence the implementation of its strategy in order “to become a serious player in the exciting Rare Earths market.”
He highlighted the growth of the Rare Earths sector outside of China, saying that “it is now crucial to the continuing supply of critical metals to the vast number of industries that rely upon these humble elements; electric vehicles and wind turbines, to name but two.”
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.”
The mining exploration firm recently unveiled that it had signed agreements to acquire majority interests in two rare earths projects in East Africa, a move in line with Altona’s new strategy to acquire majority interests in multiple rare earths mining projects in Africa.
Africa is home to several carbonatite provinces along the East African Rift Valley and along its continental margins, which are the rock formations naturally rich in rare earths.
Its climatic conditions naturally raise the concentration of the carbonatites, making them more easily mineable. Ionic clay rare earth deposits have also recently been discovered. Once developed, these deposits could provide a long-term, alternative supply line.
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.
In its final results for the year ended 30 June 2020 which Altona published at the end of January 2021, Altona highlighted to investors that it believes it is “poised at the juncture of a significant opportunity,” something which it hopes to be able to capitalise on during 2021.
“Should we gain the right level of funding we require and should the assets we are currently assessing ahead of acquiring, be as we expect them, then we will be in a position to start a journey that could take it to being a respected producer of rare earth metals within a few years.
The journey will not be without risk and the inevitable delays, but we are assembling a strong board of directors, who have the necessary experience to deal with every eventuality,” it said.
Today’s successful fundraising provides the group with further confidence as it strives to become a respected producer of rare earth metals within Africa over the next few years.
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 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.
Altona Rare Earths is a dual-listed mining exploration company which is focused on the evaluation, rapid development and extraction of Rare Earth Element (REE) metals in Africa.
During the year to 31 June 2020, Altona closed a significant 15-year chapter on its Australian coal exploration activities and opened the door onto its new Rare Earth Metals mining strategy, which it believes “has far greater relevance for the world in the 21st Century.”
The past two years has seen a major global shift in the mind-set of rare earth metals end-users, these being primarily the manufacturers of, inter alia, high-strength permanent magnets for the electric vehicle market, military hardware and green power sectors.
Presently, China controls between 90-95% of the supply chain and crucially, also controls the refining and processing sectors, creating a worldwide bottleneck. It also controls more than 70% of EV battery manufacturing, which means a rise in cost of vehicles due to inflated REE prices could cause a significant delay to one of the world's major "Green Solutions".
Global governments are becoming increasingly aware that to increase the numbers of cars on the road, vehicles must be priced suitably. Since there are no viable alternatives to provide the huge quantities of the technology metals, REE mining firms are turning to Africa.
In theory, the company stated that are earths mining companies in Africa could develop and start supplying Technology Metals to the world's green industries in under three years.
The Company 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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