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Altus Strategies announce audited final results

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Global Mining Review,

Altus Strategies Plc has announced its audited final results for the year ended 31 December 2020.

Operational highlights

  • Independent mineral resource estimate (MRE) published on Diba gold project, western Mali, comprising 4 834 000 t at 1.39 g/t gold (Au) for 217 000 oz in the indicated category and 5 479 000 t at 1.06 g/t Au for 187 000 oz in the inferred category.
  • Excellent results received from metallurgical test work on oxide and sulphide samples at Diba, testing the amenability of ores to carbon-in-leach (CIL) and heap leach processing.
  • Updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) published for Diba project, with 32% increase in after-tax net present value (NPV) to US$107 million based on 10% discount rate and US$1500/oz gold price.
  • Results of an MRE announced for the Tabakorole gold project, southern Mali, comprising 1.2 g/t Au for 620 000 oz in the indicated category, 1.2 g/t Au for 290 000 oz in the inferred category, completed under the company's joint venture (JV) with Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Marvel Gold Limited (formerly called Graphex Mining Limited).
  • Encouraging results from 70-hole 2042 m shallow aircore (AC) drilling at Tabakorole, defining 200 m northwest extension to mineralisation.
  • Environmental impact assessment of Agdz silver and copper project, eastern Morocco, accepted by Ministry of Interior, and new targets generated on the project using predictive mapping techniques.

Corporate highlights

  • Definitive purchase & sale and rRoyalty agreements signed with TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V)-listed Stellar AfricaGold Inc. in respect of the company's 100% interest in the Prikro and Zenoula gold projects in Côte d'Ivoire for 2.5 million Stellar shares, warrants to purchase a further 2.5 million Stellar shares, milestone payments and a 2.5% Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty on each project.
  • Grant of share options to certain directors and employees to acquire 5.1 million ordinary shares of £0.05 par value (ordinary shares) at an exercise price of £0.7315 per ordinary share, representing a 10% premium to the closing market price on the date of grant.
  • Appointment to the Altus Board of Karim Nasr, CEO of La Mancha Holdings S.à r.l., as its representative.
  • Appointment of Alister Hume as Business Development Manager, Sandra Bates as General Counsel and Richard Belcher as VP Exploration.
  • Commencement of quotation of the company's ordinary shares on the OTCQX 'Best Market' in the US under the ticker symbol 'ALTUF', enhancing visibility of the company to potential US investors.

Financial highlights

  • Strategic investment agreement with La Mancha concluded, resulting in an investment by La Mancha of £6.5 million/CAN$11.2 million and La Mancha holding a 35.45% interest in the company.
  • Consolidation of the company's ordinary shares on a five-for-one basis.
  • Initial 15 million shares with a value of £1.1 million/CAN$1.9 million in ASX-listed Canyon Resources Ltd received in accordance with agreement to terminate the JV on the Birsok bauxite project in central Cameroon.
  • Cash balance of £5.9 million/CAN$10.3 million as at 31 December 2020.
  • Cash outflow for operating activities of £2.3 million/CAN$4.1 million for the year.
  • Balance of listed equity holdings of £1.3 million/CAN$2.3 million as at 31 December 2020.

Post-period end

  • Completion of oversubscribed fundraising for £7.7 million/CAN$13.35 million at an issue price of £0.75/CAN$1.30 per share with net proceeds to be primarily used to accelerate gold exploration programmes in Egypt and Mali.
  • Expansion of activities into Egypt through award of four gold exploration licences totalling 1565 km2 located in the Eastern Desert through a competitive international bidding process.
  • Grant of three new copper and silver exploration projects totalling 252 km2 within the prospective western Anti-Atlas belt of Morocco.
  • Receipt of second tranche of 10 million shares in Canyon with a value of £0.6 million/CAN$1.1 million.
  • Completion of strategic review of Bikoula iron project in southern Cameroon by Mining Plus UK Ltd to determine next steps for development.
  • Drilling at Tabakorole gold project extending strike length by 150 m to over 3 km.

Steven Poulton, Chief Executive of Altus, commented: “2020 has been a year of excellent progress across the company, despite the challenging backdrop that the pandemic has presented.

“During the period, we were delighted to announce the closing of a £6.5 million strategic investment by La Mancha, one of the sector's most respected investment groups. La Mancha have acquired a 35% equity position and provided us with the capital to accelerate our royalty generation activities. We also now benefit from the business expertise of Karim Nasr, La Mancha's CEO, who we have welcomed to the Altus Board. Following this investment and in line with our growth trajectory, we were delighted to announce the appointments of Sandra Bates as General Counsel, Alister Hume as Business Development Manager and Richard Belcher as VP Exploration. These high calibre individuals reinforce the strength of the Altus team and its capabilities.

“In line with our diversified strategy, Altus successfully completed a number of project and royalty transactions during the period that realised value for our shareholders. On the operational front, our ASX-listed JV partner Marvel Gold undertook a series of drilling and other programmes at the Lakanfla and Tabakorole projects in western and southern Mali which have generated very positive results. Also in Mali, we accelerated exploration at our 100% owned Diba gold project in western Mali, undertaking drilling and generating a new and larger resource, followed by a very compelling PEA. Elsewhere, we continued our project generation activities in Cameroon, Morocco and Ethiopia, primarily exploring for gold, copper and silver deposits.

“Post-period, we announced that the company's shares had begun trading on the OTCQX market in the US, offering the company enhanced exposure to current as well as potential investors and counterparties for project transactions. We also marked our entrance into Egypt, thanks to the award of a number of gold exploration licences in the Eastern Desert to our subsidiary, Akh Gold. In March 2021, the company completed a private placement, raising £7.7 million before expenses. The placement has strengthened our balance sheet, allowing us to further accelerate our current programmes, particularly in respect of Egypt and Mali, as well as provide capital for potential accretive project and royalty acquisition opportunities.

“The year ahead is set to be even stronger and more exciting for Altus than 2020 as we look forward to generating new discoveries, growing the number of projects and royalties in our portfolio, undertaking new joint ventures and identifying and executing project and royalty transactions that offer significant potential to realise considerable value for our shareholders.”

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