Altus Strategies granted four exploration licences in Egypt
Altus Strategies announced the granting of four gold exploration licences comprising nine licence blocks on Tuesday, totalling 1,565 square kilometres, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
The AIM-traded firm said the grants were to its wholly-owned subsidiary Akh Gold by the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA), with a signing ceremony with EMRA to be held shortly.
It said the licences targeted potential historic workings as defined by in-house satellite data review, adding that the Eastern Desert already hosts the world-class Sukari gold mine operated by Centamin.
The licences were awarded as part of a competitive international bidding process, with first phase exploration programmes currently being planned.
“The licences were selected based on our systematic in-house mineral prospectivity mapping programme, which incorporated satellite image interpretation and historic exploration data,” said chief executive officer Steven Poulton.
“All four licence areas host numerous priority targets, including areas with apparent historic artisanal gold workings.
“The award of the licences follows a competitive international bidding process in which a number of major gold mining groups participated.”
Poulton said the company’s decision to expand its activities into Egypt followed the strategic investment by Egyptian-owned La Mancha, which acquired a 35% interest in Altus in February 2020, and followed “favourable amendments” to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Act.
He said it also reflected the firm’s belief in the “substantial investment opportunity” present in the country, and was in line with Altus’ strategy to continue to grow its portfolio of projects and royalties.
“The gold potential of Egypt and that of the wider Arabian-Nubian shield is world-renowned; from the Pharaonic era to the modern multi-million ounce gold mine at Sukari, operated by London and Toronto-listed Centamin.
“Our technical team will commence the planned first phase gold exploration programmes at the earliest opportunity, and we look forward to updating shareholders as these programmes progress.”
At 1400 GMT, shares in Altus Strategies were flat at 85p.