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Astra acquires Norwegian metal ore deposit

23 February 2012

Astra Resources has acquired the Joma Minerals Project, a concentrated metal ore mine in Norway, for an undisclosed sum.

Astra's subsidiary MidAst Investment Group has assisted in the completion of the deal for the Lake Hudningsvatnet mine on a scrip basis.

The acquisition gives Astra operational control and 90% ownership of the operation, equivalent to its 90% stake in MidAst.

Astra CEO Jaydeep Biswas said the most recent assay in October 2011 indicates a current net asset value of over $600m (after deducting operating costs), excluding the value of gold. The gold value brings the potential value closer to $1bn.

"The deposit was built up over 16 years by concentrated tailings from past mining operations, with this type of storage previously being the norm," said Biswas.

"Registered information indicates there is up to 12 million tonnes of finely ground, concentrated ore currently situated at the bottom of Lake Hudningsvatnet, which is 18 metres down at its deepest point."

Astra noted deposit registrations made by a previous mining company indicated iron ore, copper, zinc, gold and silver resources presence in the acquisition area, representing about 60% of the 10.5 million tonne deposit.

The company stated that there is no requirement to drill and there will be no cost for mining, crushing and milling the ore, as this is already extracted and defined.

The future enrichment process will result in 63% iron ore while other resources present in Lake Hudningsvatnet are also expected to add value to the operation.

Astra plans to finish the exploitation of the current deposit in the next 10 to 12 years, with the company planning to begin production process in 2013, after all the operations permits are in place.

Following the deal, Astra will form a Norwegian subsidiary to manage, own, and operate the asset and licenses.

The operation is subject to final due diligence, including the completion of technical and scientific reports.