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Altus Strategies granted exploration licence in Ethiopia

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Altus Strategies Plc has been granted the Daro exploration licence targeting potential Kuroko-style volcanogenic massive sulfide copper and gold deposits in the Tigray Regional State of northern Ethiopia.

Altus Strategies Plc has been granted the Daro exploration licence targeting potential Kuroko-style volcanogenic massive sulfide copper and gold deposits in the Tigray Regional State of northern Ethiopia.


  • 412 km2 exploration licence granted in northern Ethiopia.
  • Licence targets the Nakfa Terrane which hosts numerous VMS copper and gold deposits Licence contains historic copper occurrence and active artisanal gold mining.
  • First phase reconnaissance and sampling programme to commence immediately.

Steven Poulton, Chief Executive of Altus, commented:

“The award of the Daro exploration licence in northern Ethiopia is an exciting addition to our project portfolio. Daro targets a highly prospective geological belt in which numerous VMS deposits have been discovered and mined to date. This includes Nevsun Resources Ltd’s (TSX:NSU) Bisha copper-zinc-gold mine 190 km to the north-west in Eritrea, the Asmara VMS deposit 100 km to the north, and East Africa Metals Inc.’s (TSX-V:EAM) Harvest and Adyabo deposits 35 km to the west. Our field teams will immediately commence exploration of priority targets that have been defined by our in-house target generation process. We look forward to updating shareholders on exploration progress in due course.”

Daro exploration licence

The Daro exploration licence covers an area of approximately 412 km2 northern Ethiopia. The Licence is initially awarded for a three year term after which it can be renewed a further seven times for one year each, with a 25% reduction in licence size upon each renewal. The Licence targets the Nakfa Terrane that forms part of the Neo-Proterozoic Arabian Nubian Shield and is considered highly prospective for hosting VMS deposits. Daro was selected by the company following an extensive process of regional target definition. This work included a review of historic mineral occurrences, geological maps and structural data as well as satellite-borne remote sensing data. The Licence contains a significant northeast-southwest striking ophiolite complex and hosts a number of shear zones and thrust belts. The presence of the ophiolitic units, extensive chert zones and bimodal volcanics are considered synonymous with other VMS projects in the region. The Licence area also contains a historic mapped copper occurrence and an active artisanal gold mining site.

A first phase reconnaissance programme by the company’s technical team will commence immediately, to include mapping of the priority remote sensing targets. This is expected to be followed up with a licence wide stream sediment survey programme to define additional target areas, as well as mapping and sampling of the reported mineral occurrences.

Daro project: location

The Daro exploration licence is held by Altau Resources Ltd, the company’s 100% owned Ethiopia focused subsidiary. The Licence is located in northern Ethiopia, 95 km west of the Company’s Tigray-Afar Cu-Ag project, 100 km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 570 km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Mekele has a regional airport and year-round access to the Licence area is provided by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads.

Daro project: geological setting

The Daro licence is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa Terrane, at a junction between two major tectonic blocks and comprises a series of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks, affected by thrusting and intrusion of the Rama granite. A band of mafic to ultramafic rocks bisects the Licence from southwest to northeast, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of oceanic crust and ancient seafloor. Historical data compilation of Daro, undertaken by the French governmental Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, has defined a number of marker lithologies and structures that are considered prospective for Kuroko-style VMS deposits. These include the presence of bimodal volcanics and associated sediments, mafic and ultramafic lithologies which conform to an ophiolitic sequence, as well as the presence of extensive chert horizons.

The Nakfa Terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. This includes Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Nevsun Resources Ltd (TSX: NSU) 190 km north west of Daro, the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX-V:EAM) 35 km west of Daro and the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 100 km north of Daro.

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