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Altona Rare Earths proceeds with Monte Muambe Phase 2

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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 announced that, following positive results from Phase 1 exploration of its Monte Muambe REE asset, it is proceeding with Phase 2 of the project.


  • Phase 1 results show above average REE levels.
  • Two new mineralised areas identified.
  • Phase 2 resource drilling to start in April 2022 and last for up to 12 months.
  • Phase 2 will deliver: maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE), metallurgical testing and scoping study.
  • Phase 1 total spend was £580 000 and Phase 2 costs expected to be approximately £1.2 million.
  • Full Intertek assay results expected by May 2022.

Monte Muambe is a 4 km dia. circular carbonatite intrusion located in Tete Province, Northwest Mozambique, held under Prospecting Licence 7573L. The company commenced an initial drilling programme in October 2021, focusing on six target areas, drilling a total meterage of 590 m diamond drilling (DD – 5 holes) and 2541 m reverse circulation (RC – 38 holes).

To date, the company has full analysis results from three drill holes as well as samples from multiple drill sites which have been analysed on site using the company’s recently procured pXRF field analyser, which provides immediate estimates of mineral content in samples. These have confirmed the presence of carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation, at an above average grade total rare earth oxide (TREO) in four of the six targets drilled, with two of the targets (holes MM021 and MM042) being new discoveries open in several directions. This provides a clear basis to proceed to Phase 2.

The company has also sent 705 DD samples and 974 RC samples (including QAQC samples) to certified assay labs operated by Intertek in South Africa and Australia, with the full result set expected to be received before the end of May 2022, which the company will publish.

Phase 2 work will commence during April 2022 and include additional soil sampling, ground geophysics and scout drilling (1200 m RC), resource drilling (6800 m RC) and metallurgical testing, all of which will be used to produce a maiden MRE and a preliminary economic assessment.

Soil sampling started on site in early February, after cyclone Ana subsided, and Altona is making arrangements to restart drilling operations in early April; the priority being to test the lateral extension of holes MM021 and MM042, and to continue drilling Target 1 in a south-easterly direction.

Christian Taylor-Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Altona, commented: “We believe that Monte Muambe could develop into a major REE resource. Initial results from our Phase 1 activities are very positive with higher than expected grades and the discovery of two new target areas. Phase 2 will work towards confirming these indications, via a Resource Estimate, and provide a solid platform for a substantial valuation of Monte Muambe.”

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African mining news