Altus Strategies granted copper/gold exploration licence in Ethiopia

June 3, 2019

Altus Strategies


Altus Strategies, the UK-based, Africa-focussed project and royalty generator, has been granted the Zager exploration licence. This covers an area of 285km2 and is focussed on a volcanogenic massive sulphide hosting copper and gold deposits in the Tigray National Regional State of northern Ethiopia.

This expands the range of Altus exploration holdings across the Arabian Nubian Shield in addition to their Daro and Tugray-Afar copper projects.

The key highlights of this licence are:

  • 285km2 exploration licence targeting VMS deposits in northern Ethiopia 
  • Licence hosts 27km of ophiolite belt within prospective Arabian Nubian Shield 
  • Located 15km northwest of the Harvest polymetallic VMS project 
  • Priority exploration targets and artisanal gold workings identified 
  • First phase reconnaissance and sampling programmes to commence imminently 

The Chief Executive of Altus Strategies, Steve Poulton, commented, “The Company selected the licence based on our in- house remote sensing study, which included an extensive review of historical geological data. These highlighted Zager’s geological prospectivity and identified numerous artisanal alluvial gold workings.

“Zager is underlain by an almost identical geological terrane to that of the Company’s Daro project, located 80km to the east and where the Company has rapidly discovered a number of encouraging copper and gold targets. The geology of this region hosts the Bisha mine owned by Zinjin Mining and the Asmara project owned by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corp in Eritrea, approximately 135km north and north-east of Zager respectively.”

Zager Exploration Licence 

The Zager exploration licence covers an area of approximately 285km2 in northern Ethiopia. The Licence targets the Nakfa terrane of the Neoproterozoic Arabian Nubian Shield, which is considered highly prospective for polymetallic and gold-rich VMS mineralisation, as well as orogenic lode gold deposits. Zager was selected by the Company based upon an extensive process of regional targeting. This work comprised a review of available datasets, including historical mineral occurrences, geological maps and satellite-borne remote sensing data. The Licence contains two northeast trending ophiolite belts and an overlaying tuffaceous volcano-sedimentary sequence, in addition to two syn-tectonic granitoid intrusions. A first phase reconnaissance exploration programme will be undertaken by the Company and will include a field assessment of numerous remote sensing targets and a licence-wide stream sediment sampling survey in order to prioritise areas of interest. 

Altus Strategies, Location of the Zager licence on the Arabian Nubian Shield
Figure 1. Location of the Zager licence on the Arabian Nubian Shield
Altus strategies, location of the Zager licence in northern Ethiopia
Location of the Zager licence in northern Ethiopia
Altus strategies: Geology of the Zager licence
Geology of the Zager licence
Altus strategies: Satellite imagery showing artisanal workings at Zager
Satellite imagery showing artisanal workings at Zager

Zager: Location 

The Zager exploration licence is held by Altau Resource Limited, the Company’s 100% owned Ethiopia focused subsidiary. The Licence is located in the Semien Mi’irabawi Zone of Tigray in northern Ethiopia, approximately 175km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 610km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The Licence is accessed by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads and is crossed by a high voltage hydroelectric power line. The town of Shire which has a population of 71,000 and a regional airport offering daily flights to Addis Ababa is located 30km to the southeast. A railway is being planned to connect Shire with the Red Sea port of Tadjoura in Djibouti. 

Zager: Geological Setting 

The Zager licence is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa terrane of the Arabian Nubian Shield, a highly prospective mobile belt of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks which stretches across northern and western Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and across the western Gulf. Zager hosts a 27km long mafic and ultramafic belt, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of ancient oceanic crust and seafloor sediments, deposited in an island arc setting. These rocks are intruded by the Debri granitoid and the Imba Tsewa gabbroic complex. 

The Nakfa terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. These include Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. 136km northwest of Zager, the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 125km northeast of Zager and the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX- V:EAM) 10km south and east of Zager. 

About Altus Strategies Plc 

Altus is a London (AIM: ALS) and Toronto (TSX-V: ALTS) listed royalty and project generator in the mining sector with a focus on Africa. Our team creates value by making mineral discoveries across multiple licences. We enter joint ventures with respected groups and our partners earn interest in these discoveries by advancing them toward production. Project milestone payments we receive are reinvested to extend our portfolio, accelerating our growth. The portfolio model reduces risk as our interests are diversified by commodity and by country. The royalties generated from our portfolio of projects are designed to yield sustainable long term income. We engage constructively with all our stakeholders, working diligently to minimise our environmental impact and to promote positive economic and social outcomes in the communities where we operate. 

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MiningIR hosts a variety of articles from a range of sources. Our content, while interesting, should not be considered as formal financial advice. Always seek professional guidance and consult a range of sources before investing.
James Hyland, MiningIR