Altona to resume drilling at rare earths project in Mozambique

Altona’s flagship project is the Monte Muambe REE project, named after the  inactive volcano located east of Moatize in the Tete Province of Mozambique. (Image courtesy of Altona Rare Earths.)

Altona Rare Earths (LON: REE) said on Wednesday it had reopened its Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique, with drilling to resume on or around July 15.

The exploration and development firm said drilling will initially focus on in-fill and down-dip drilling at target four, which is one of the two orebodies being included in the maiden JORC mineral resource estimate.

Altona also plans to conduct exploration drilling at target three, which it discovered in 2021, but has not yet been explored. The company believes results may increase the project’s resource base for high-grade ore.

“We have a very busy second half of 2023 ahead of us, with a number of objectives to achieve – the mineral resource estimation and scoping study being our immediate focus,” chief executive Cedric Simonet said in the statement.

“Considerable attention will be given to the metallurgy of Monte Muambe, a key parameter for carbonatite hosted REE projects,” he noted.

Shares in Altona jumped as much as 14% on the news and were trading at 5.65p mid-afternoon in London, leaving the company with a market capitalization of £4.12 million (about US$5.2 million). 

The Africa-focused company, which began trading in London in June, plans to start production by 2027, delivering its output directly to the UK and the European Union. 

The goal is to help countries diversify away from China, which is the market top producer of the rare elements used in everything from consumer electronics to military equipment. 

As of last year, the Asian giant accounted for about 90% of smelting and about 70% of rare earth production, data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows.

3 0