Africa-focused mineral exploration company Altus Strategies subsidiary Altau Resources has been granted a three-year exploration licence for the Zager copper/gold prospect in Ethiopia.

Zager deposits are located in the Tigray National Regional State of northern Ethiopia. It is nearly 175km north-west of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 610km north of Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa.

The geology of Zager hosts the Bisha mine, which is owned by Zijin Mining, and the Asmara project owned by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corporation, in Eritrea, approximately 135km north and north-east of Zager.

Zager is also 15km north-west of the Harvest polymetallic VMS project.

Granted to Altau Resources, the exploration licence covers an area of approximately 285km² in northern Ethiopia. Following the three-year period, this licence, which targets volcanogenic massive sulphide hosted copper and gold deposits, can be renewed twice for one year each, subject to a 25% reduction in area upon each renewal.

Additional renewals are based on the discretion of the Ministry and subject to satisfying certain work programmes.

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By GlobalData

This area hosts 27km of long mafic and ultramafic ophiolite belt within the Arabian Nubian Shield.

Altau has identified priority exploration targets and artisanal gold workings and confirmed that first phase reconnaissance and sampling programmes would start very soon.

“These highlighted Zager’s geological prospectivity and identified numerous artisanal alluvial gold workings.”

Altus CEO Steven Poulton said: “The grant of Zager increases our strategic exploration holdings across the highly prospective Arabian Nubian Shield of northern Ethiopia to more than 877km².

“The company selected the licence based on our in-house remote sensing study, which included an extensive review of historical geological data. These highlighted Zager’s geological prospectivity and identified numerous artisanal alluvial gold workings.

“Zager is underlain by an almost identical geological terrane to that of the company’s Daro project, located 80km to the east and where the company has rapidly discovered a number of encouraging copper and gold targets.”