30 April 2021
Altona Rare Earths Plc
(“Altona” or “the Company”)
Altona (AQSE: ANR.PL), a rare earths exploration and mining company, announces a trading update for the first quarter of 2021.
During the period the Company consolidated its status in the rare earths mining sector by raising capital and appointing experienced new board members. The hard work of the past 12 months has put the Company in a strong position as it now has three potential acquisition opportunities under consideration. The next few months will see the completion of the rigorous due diligence procedures it is currently carrying out on these assets. The results of the due diligence, tgether with the board’s future economic considerations for each project, will form the basis of which assets the Company will acquire.
The Company entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding with Ussokoti Investimentos Limitada on 24 March 2021 to acquire up to 70% of the Monte Muambe Rare Earths Project in the Tete Province, Mozambique. Legal due diligence is underway and the Company has 90 days (from 20 March 2021) to complete this process. Analysis of historic core samples is also being completed to provide a more full picture of this asset’s potential value, ahead of the board making its decision to proceed.
In Uganda, the Company signed an Option Agreement on 30 March 2021 to acquire 51% (rising to 70%) of the Nankoma Rare Earths Project, before 30 June 2021. The Company has collected and sent soil samples from this greenfield tenement to a lab in Australia, for assay under the guidance of Gavin Beer, Altona’s Metallugist. It is expected that the results of this analysis will be completed in May, which will be used to provide guidance to the board in its decision to proceed, or not, with the acquisition.
Finally, in Malawi, the Company is in the last stages of the due diligence process for the proposed acquisition of the Chambe Rare Earths Project, for which it signed the Heads of Agreement on 1 September 2020. The Company is waiting for its joint venture partner in Malawi, Akatswiri Mineral Resources Limited, to confirm the Malawian government’s approval of Exploration Licence, APL 0153 for the Chambe Project. Once the licence is granted by the Malawian Mines Department, it is expected a binding agreement will follow allowing Altona to acquire this exciting, ionic clay rare earths mining project.
To expedite the deal timetables, the Company has appointed local law firms in each of the three jurisdications where it is looking to acquire a rare earth mining project; namely, Mozambique, Malawi and Uganda. This move, which the board has agreed will be the standard working practice for the Company in all future acquisitions, has significantly improved the due diligence process for Altona, both on the legal and technical side. Further, it has provided increased confidence to the board that, should these and any future acquisitions be considered economically viable, once the due diligence has been competed, they will be concluded in a timely manner, which will be a benefit to shareholders.
Therefore, the Company believes itself to be in a strong position, with cash in the bank and all three African mining opportunities progressing as planned. The Company remains positive that everything within its control will be managed quickly and any potential unexpected risks in the planned deals can be mitigated by the experience provided by Altona’s board, to ensure ongoing shareholder value. The Company will provide more information on the completion of the three acquisiitons over the next few months, should the Company choose to take them to fruition, as well as reporting on progress of the Company’s planned listing on the Standard Market of the London Stock Exchange, the application process for which commenced in April 2021.
Altona Rare Earths plc
Alfred Henry Corporate Finance Ltd (AQSE Corporate Adviser)
Altona is a exploration and mining company focused on the evaluation, development and extraction of rare earth metals in Central and East Africa.
The Company was admitted to trading on AIM on 10 March 2005 and was subsequently admitted to Aquis Stock Exchange on 1 February 2019. A copy of its admission documents dated 4 March 2005 can be accessed on its website, www.altonaenergy.com. This website is where items can be inspected under Rule 4.14 of the AQSE Growth Market Access Rulebook.