Altona Rare Earths strikes copper deal in Botswana

The Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique. (Image courtesy of Altona Rare Earths.)

Shares in Altona Rare Earths (LON: REE) soared as much as 60% on Tuesday after announcing it had inked a deal to acquire up to 85% of a copper and silver asset in Botswana held by Ignate African Mining.

The option agreement is for the Sesana copper-silver project, located in the heart of the highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB), about 25 km from the producing Khoemacau underground copper-silver mine.

Altona said that recent airborne surveys have revealed promising geological formations for copper-silver mineralization spanning across the tenement.

Under the agreement, Altona can acquire up to 85% of the prospect from Ignate African Mining for $110,000 in cash and $250,000 worth of shares plus phased exploration, technical and expenditure commitments.

Initial exploration will consist of a combination of geochemical and geophysical work including soil sampling associated with ionic leach assaying, a technique particularly suitable for the KCB context, the company said.

Chief executive Cedric Simonet said the Sesana project acquisition was in line with the company’s portfolio diversification strategy.

“This, and the recently acquired Kabompo South critical raw materials project in Zambia, is expected to generate news flow at a relatively low cost and will complement our flagship Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique,” Simonet said.

Altona Rare Earths shares were trading at 1.69p, or 50% higher, by mid-afternoon in London. This leaves the company with a market capitalization of £976,130 ($1.24m)