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Altona Rare Earths provides Monte Muambe update

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Altona, a mining exploration company focused on the evaluation, acquisition and development of rare earth elements (REE) mining projects in Africa, has updated shareholders with preliminary results from its Phase 2 drilling programme at its flagship project, Monte Muambe, in Tete Province, Mozambique, held under Prospecting Licence 7573L.


  • Phase 2 exploration programme is progressing within schedule and on track for production of maiden JORC resource statement by 1Q23 and a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) by 2Q23.
  • Monte Muambe has the potential to become one of the highest-grade Carbonatite REE projects in Africa.
  • Preliminary Phase 2 exploration results show continuing improvement, not only in terms of grades but also in terms of orebodies dimensions:
    • Extensive soil sampling covering the entire intrusion has led to the discovery of four new drilling targets for REE and Niobium (up to 1.75% total rare earth oxides (TREO) and up to 1.75% Nb2O5 in soil), currently being investigated through shallow reverse circulation (RC) drilling.
    • Target 1 length was extended from 100 m to 700 m. Phase 2 RC drilling results show thick intercepts with TREO grades up to 7.85%.
    • Target 4 shows an orebody thickness of at least 170 m with grades up to 6.37% TREO.

Phase 2 exploration update

The cCompany commenced Phase 2 exploration at the end of April 2022, with a 1200 m drilling programme to investigate two new targets (Targets 3 and 4) and continue drilling on the best of its Phase 1 identified targets (Target 1). Once this short phase of drilling is completed, the company will commence resource drilling (planned up to 6200 m) in August 2022, which will enable production of a maiden mineral resource estimate, a preliminary metallurgical study, a PEA and establish a monetary value for the asset.

Since February, Altona’s operations team have collected and assayed over 1700 soil samples, refining the orebodies boundaries and identifying four new, REE-rich drilling targets which are currently being investigated through shallow RC drilling.

Phase 2, RC drilling commenced in early May on Targets 1 and 4. Results below are part of the on-site pXRF assay and are classed as preliminary. All mineralised samples will be subsequently assayed at a certified laboratory.

Target 1

  • 415.45 m drilled so far (five RC holes), best TREO intercept 7.85%, best Nb2O5 intercept 1.70%.
  • Target length extended from 100 m to 700 m, foot-wall of orebody not encountered Mineralisation encountered to 70m below surface, open at depth.

Target 4

  • 417 m drilled so far (five RC holes), best TREO intercept 6.37%.
  • Target width 170 m.
  • Mineralisation encountered to 80 m below surface, open at depth and towards Southeast.

Altona is currently preparing access to its newly discovered Target 9 in the southern zone of the carbonatite, which also shows a high potential for REE.

All samples and data are collected in accordance with the highest QAQC standards to ensure data compliance to JORC.

Finally, the company is now in a position to prepare a JORC 20121 compliant exploration target estimate on Targets 1, 4, and possibly 9, which it expects will be completed in July. The company is in the process of appointing an independent consultant to this effect. By working under JORC rules from as early as possible the company aims to reduce risk and achieve early validation of its projects.

Altona is on track to complete its maiden resource estimate in 1Q23 and the project’s PEA by 2Q23.

Christian Taylor-Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Altona, commented: “Our strategy for Monte Muambe is twofold; to work to our schedule to define the orebodies and, produce a resource estimate and PEA which will define the value of the asset. Both of these aims are on track to be completed on time and within budget.

“As we continue with our exploration, we are finding a much larger homogeneous orebody than anticipated and, crucially, we are seeing significant TREO grades, including high levels of NdPr – those rare earths critical in the production of many green technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines.”

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